Aug 10, 2018

Family Federation sues Sanctuary Church over logo

Peter Becker
The News Eagle
August 9, 2018

NEWFOUNDLAND - Two religious organizations claiming to be the rightful heir to the Unification Church founded by the late Rev. Myung Moon, one led by his widow and the other by one of their sons, have found themselves at odds.

The church, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification USA (a.k.a. "Unification Church"), led by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the widow and headquartered in New York City, has filed suit against the church led by her son, Rev. Hyung Jin Sean Moon, the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary (a.k.a. "Sanctuary Church") located in Newfoundland, Pa.

The suit alleges unauthorized use of the registered trademark used by the Unification Church.
It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

According to the Unification Church statement, Family Federation's proprietary logo is being used unlawfully to identify and brand Sanctuary Church, causing confusion among the public. Sanctuary Church has continued to disregard numerous cease-and-desist requests sent from Family Federation.

In light of the recent media attention surrounding Sanctuary Church, public concern regarding the political views of this organization, and public brand confusion, Family Federation has made the "difficult decision" to pursue litigation to protect the legacy of its founders, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.

Firearm controversy

"Family Federation is in no way affiliated with Sanctuary Church," said Rev. Richard Buessing, president of Family Federation USA. "While we respect every individual's right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and other constitutional rights, we oppose violence and do not use weapons in any of our religious ceremonies. Sean Hyung Jin Moon has disregarded his father's teachings regarding the importance of true love and reconciliation in addressing the problems of the world."

In February 2018, Sanctuary Church received international media attention when the church hosted a Blessing Service for hundreds of married couples, who were urged to bring their semi-automatic weapons (unloaded). The AR-15s were displayed as a pledge to defend themselves, their families, nation and church in keeping with the Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms. Sanctuary Church leadership noted the weapons symbolized the "Rod of Iron" described in the Book of Revelation.

Controversy rose over the timing of the service, held only days after the mass shootings with an AR-15 at the middle school in Parkland, FL, although the service had been planned months before.

Not about a trademark
Sanctuary Church released a counter statement, which Timothy Elder, their Director of World Missions, stated was approved by Rev. Sean Moon.

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