Cham Bumo Gyeong: Episode 178

Cham Bumo Gyeong
Book 7: True Parents’ Course of Suffering and Victory
Chapter 1: Suffering and Victory during the Japanese Occupation and in Communist North Korea
Section 3: Pyongyang and Hungnam, Bureau of Internal Affairs trial
Section 3: Pyongyang and Hungnam, Paragraph 10 

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Section 3. Pyongyang and Hungnam

Bureau of Internal Affairs trial

Under the communists, annihilating religion was a state policy. Due to the jealousy and false accusations of Christian pastors, True Father was tried by the Pyongyang Bureau of Internal Affairs and incarcerated, beginning on February 22, 1948. At his trial on April 7, he faced such charges as "disrupting the social order." He received a five-year sentence. After the verdict was announced, Father submitted an objection to the wording of the decision that called him "false." This is because the truth that True Father announced is absolutely true and not false. Upon leaving the court, True Father waved his hands to the sorrowful church members in an effort to comfort them.

1  As I began my ministry, the number of members in my congregation increased. But the policy of the North Korean authorities at that time was to annihilate religion. It was at this time that Christian pastors brought allegations against me to the authorities, because many people from their congregations were coming to join me. Consequently, I was imprisoned for the third time. February 22, 1948 was the day I was taken to the Pyongyang Bureau of Internal Affairs.

2  April 7, 1948, was the day of my trial. It was a day I can never forget. I had been arrested by the Pyongyang Bureau of Internal Affairs. The arrest was triggered by the jealousy of Christian leaders and the communist government's policy of annihilating religions. I was arrested on February 22, and my head was shaved on February 25. Under the rule of the atheistic communists, people accused of religious offenses do not receive a real trial. My trial was postponed from April 3 to April 7. April 3 was the 40th day after I was taken into custody.

3  When I stood in the room for my trial at the Pyongyang Bureau of Internal Affairs, Christian pastors came and hurled insults at me. At the time I thought, "Let's see whose children are trained better, yours or mine. Let's see whose followers, the followers you teach or the followers I teach, will turn out better. Even if I die here, mine will turn out better than yours." I cannot forget that day.

I still cannot forget the shock that I experienced then; no one will be able to understand or feel it the way I do. That is why I suddenly wake up from sleep and agonize, "How can I ever fulfill the pledge that I made before God to follow the dutiful path of filial piety and loyalty to Him?" That is why I cannot afford to be exhausted; I have no room for that. I keep myself busy to fulfill my pledge to God. Consequently, I do things that others cannot even imagine.

Whenever I am accused, I keep silent, but that does not mean I am spineless. I am just too busy with my path. Actually, I am the kind of person who does not tolerate what is not right.

4  When I was jailed at the Pyongyang Prison, the members of my congregation were more anguished than if their spouses had died. They said, "Teacher, when will you return?" But I said, "I am going to prison because there is someone there I need to meet." At that time, I had been promised that I would meet a certain person in that place. That is why, despite the fact that it was a miserable path in which my legs would tremble and I would sigh and wail, still I accepted going on this path. That was because it was the path to the hoped-for kingdom of heaven. If one goes forward with this kind of joyful heart, even hell can be transformed into the kingdom of heaven. Surely, it is in God's heart to do so. Accordingly, I left my followers for a second time while making a new determination that I would meet all the people that were prepared for me in that place.

5  When I was jailed at the Pyongyang Prison, my trial was originally set for April 3, 1948. But the Communist Party needed to make an excuse for suppressing religions, so the scheduled date was postponed to April 7. Our members gathered together that day; yet from that day also, some began to fall away. Upon receiving my sentence and entering prison, I stepped forward full of hope in any case because I knew there were people there whom God had prepared for me to meet.

I was imprisoned at around three in the afternoon. Three days later, I met a young man whose family name was Kim. During Japanese rule, he had graduated from the artillery section of the military academy. He was a captain in the artillery division when World War II ended. After that, he enlisted in the North Korean Peoples Army and became an aide to the commanding officer of the artillery division. But later he was charged with revealing state secrets and sentenced to death. He was waiting in prison for the day of his execution. He had tried to commit suicide, so when I met him he was being kept in chains.

According to him, a white-haired old man had appeared to him in a dream, calling his name and saying, "You will not be executed. Be prepared to meet a young man who came to Pyongyang from the South." Before long, his death sentence was commuted to imprisonment for four years and eight months based on a guarantee by his former boss, the artillery commander. Then the old man appeared again in Kim's dream. He scolded Kim for not having believed him, and revealed to him again that he would meet the young teacher from South Korea within a few days.

6  I met a person in Pyongyang Prison who had received direct instructions from heaven. He received testimony about me directly from the spirit world. That promise from heaven had prepared him a year before he met me. Heaven sank roots even in Pyongyang Prison, in order that I could find people who would be true and establish a strong foundation of hope. Considering all the efforts that heaven was making, I strongly believed that if I turned away from the path, or if I did not fully commit myself to it, I would be a traitor to my father-son relationship with God. Before I even imagined it myself, heaven had already prepared people to be connected to me, so that I would be able to accomplish my great mission. It made me think deeply when I recognized that those people might possibly betray heaven without even realizing it.

7  There was an inmate named Kim who shared my prison cell. I was 29 years old, and he was also 29. When he was sentenced to death, his father was so shocked that he became sick, and a short time later, he died in a car accident. Early in the morning on April 28, 1948, Kim's father appeared to him in a dream. In the dream, his father brought him to a palace, and they began to climb some stairs. On every step, they heard a new voice, and on every third step, they offered three bows. At the top of the stairs, they found a dignified young man sitting on a shining jade throne. His father told him, "Look up and see that gentleman," and so he turned his face upward toward the gentleman but could not see him clearly because of the dazzling brilliance permeating that place.

Mr. Kim was attracted to me from the first moment we met and felt the urge to listen to me as much as possible. Three days later, he earnestly asked me to teach him. I spoke to him for three days about my life course until then, using an assumed name, Lawrence. I realized that Kim, who was the leader in the cell, was the one whom God had prepared. I said to him, "You are anxious about something that you cannot tell anyone about, aren't you?" I asked what he was anxious about. He was so surprised by my question that he told me in detail about what had happened to him. He also realized for the first time that I was the young gentleman that he saw in his dream seated on the shining throne.

8  When I was in Pyongyang Prison, a rumor circulated that I was a male shaman. It spread because before someone would talk to me I knew in advance what he would say and asked him about it. I do not know if the communist authorities felt afraid of me after they heard such rumors, but every time they interrogated me, at least three guards were posted there.

I knew that I would be transferred from Pyongyang Prison to Hungnam Prison. I considered that this transfer would be like moving from Satan's world to God's world. I determined in front of God that I would never change, either internally or externally, no matter what happened. The reason why Jesus could become a light in the hearts of people all over the world was that his heart of love could not be extinguished, even by death. Jesus overcame the gate of death. That is why Jesus became the root of history and culture that has brought us to today. In other words, Jesus' victory became the origin that created today's worldwide Christian culture. You must understand that even the Unification Church began on that foundation.

Transfer to Hungnam Prison

On May 20, 1948, True Father was transferred from Pyongyang Prison to the Hungnam Special Labor Camp. It was known as the prison of prisons. True Fathers prisoner number was 596. Ordinary people found it difficult to endure Hungnam Prison due to the excessive workload, cold and hunger, and the endless exposure to noxious ammonia from the ammonium sulfate fertilizer there. Forty percent of the prisoners there died within a year due to diseases of the lungs and skin, which were caused by ammonia reacting with their sweat. This caused their skin to peel away and their flesh to become gangrenous. In that situation, True Father still found a way to take care of his body and his health. Also, he was able to carry a much greater portion of the workload than his coworkers. In that place, always stalked by the shadow of death, True Father overcame those tribulations with wisdom.

9  I will never forget the send-off my followers in Pyongyang gave me, waving to me as I was being led away in shackles to be transferred to Hungnam Prison. I did not shed tears, but they wept as if their son or their husband was being taken from them. How tragic it was! But seeing them sobbing, I thought, "A man who moves forward to seek heaven is not a man of misfortune." In my life, I had already suffered hardships behind bars, yet wherever I went, my followers came to see me, even though they were not my blood relations. They could have felt disgrace and shame in doing so, but their coming to see me with such devotion connected the heavenly realm of heart to the prison, which was hell on earth. That is something amazing.

10  Hungnam was a place where the wind from the sea is so fierce that when it blows it sends bits of shell and pebbles through the air. So in the winter the inmates wanted to cover their bodies with as much clothing as they could. The wind was an enemy that pummeled us. Early each morning, about 900 inmates left for work, but before that, the prison officers conducted a roll call in which they had us sit on the ground in the cold wind for two hours, from 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. How do you think it was for us inmates, wearing only one layer of clothes? It was so miserable. We shuddered and shivered loudly in spite of ourselves. We could not control our shivering.

There were about 30 inmates in my cell. In the summer, water leaked down onto the floor. I always chose the hottest and smelliest spot. In that spot, I would think about the cold winter. I thought that if I could be the owner of winter, I could be the owner of summer, and if I knew how to become the owner of summer, I could be the owner of winter as well. I thought, one who is able to overcome all manner of difficult situations will be able to lead the highest and richest people. Heaven would like to give us such riches.

Therefore, I regarded my suffering in Hungnam as a blessing. To go to the opposite end and get results is in keeping with the principle of restoration through indemnity. To be worthy of blessings, we must bring such results.

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