Photo of the site of the Unification Church’s “Cheonwon Palace,” which cost over 30 billion yen to build with Japanese donations. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Photo of the site of the Unification Church’s “Cheonwon Palace,” which cost over 30 billion yen to build with Japanese donations.

A palace-like building is under construction in the mountains of Cheongpyeong, South Korea, the former "holy ground" of the Unification Church.

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Cheonwon Palace” is located in the mountains of Cheongpyeong, Korea. It is positioned as the “central office of Cheon Il Guk (the country where God’s ideals have been perfected).

If donations from Japan stop, the opening ceremony next May may be delayed,” said one believer from the former Unification Church of the Unification Family for World Peace.

One Korean member of the former Unification Church (Family Association for the Unification of World Peace) said, “If donations from Japan stop, the opening ceremony in May next year will be delayed.

Cheongpyeong, a former Unification Church sanctuary, is located in the mountains two and a half hours by car from Seoul on the highway. The white building currently under construction on the mountainside is called “Cheonwon Gung. The Cheonwon Gung is scheduled to be completed early next year, and a grand opening ceremony will be held in May of next year.

The construction of Cheonwon Gung has so far cost approximately 300 billion won (about 30 billion yen), and it is said that the total construction cost until its completion will be more than 500 billion won (about 50 billion yen). The construction cost was largely funded by donations from Japan, and it is reported that Japanese believers were encouraged to donate 1.83 million yen. The reason for this amount is that President Han Hak-chul (80 years old) at the time of the opening of Cheonwon Palace and Moon Sung-myung (103 years old) if he were still alive, and the number 183 is the sum of their ages” (a former believer).

According to the introductory video of the former Unification Church, the Cheonwon Palace, with four floors underground and three above ground, is a stone building in the orthodox classical style, with the main building wing decorated with five huge domed roofs and surrounded by a museum and azalea park. The interior will be decorated with stained glass windows, and the walls will be adorned with sacred paintings depicting Moon Myung Moon and President Han Hak Ko. In addition, the interior will be equipped with an exhibition facility that introduces the lives of Moon Myung Moon and President Han Hak-ja through video and other media. The basement is said to cover an area of 6,000 pyeong, where a food court, stores, and cafes will be built.

The author visited the construction site of Cheonwon Palace in mid-August. Scaffolding had been erected on some of the exterior walls, and the rooftop was covered with green netting, but the Korean believer mentioned above said, “Even as of mid-September, there were no signs of construction.

A Korean believer told us, “In mid-September, the scaffolding was still in place. There are rumors that the construction work has been halted due to the lack of donations from Japan, which has led to increased criticism of our activities in Japan. Now that there is no hope of receiving donations from Japan, I have heard that there is actually a movement among the leaders to call for active donations from Filipino shokubutsu.

The former Unification Church of Japan has positioned Cheonwon Gung as “a new landmark for a peaceful world. The “deification” of Oyasama is likely to be further strengthened.

FRIDAY” October 14, 2022 issue

  • Reporting and writing Hironori Jinno (Nonfiction writer)

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