On July 1, 1982 the Unification Church held in Madison Square Garden, New York the first stage of the "World Peace Through Ideal Families" marriage blessing ceremony. In this ceremony 2,075 couples, mostly from the Western world, were married. Later that year in a second ceremony of 6,000 couples, mostly Orientals, were married in Seoul, Korea.
All of the couples blessed were missionary members of the church, many having dedicated a number of years in its service. Almost all these members had given the choice of their spouse to Reverend Moon. Marriage is a central sacrament of the church and all those participating in these two ceremonies held marriage in high regard and brought to the union a deep commitment.
The study below represents the first systematic statistical analysis of the fruits of this blessing ceremony. The author participated in this blessing and is a member of the UC headquarters staff. However, the survey was done independently of church supervision. The church gave complete access to all of its personnel records, both digital and paper and full independence in reaching out to the community worldwide.
I chose to focus on the portion of the population that has at some point in the last 18 years worked in the United States. Out of the 16,150 individuals married in 1982 I selected the 2,944 individuals who had worked in the U.S. I also chose the U.S church population because of my ability to contact the group.
I then created a random sample of approximately one-tenth this sample. To do this, I assigned a computer generated random number between .0001 and .9999. I then selected for my survey individuals from the first 10% of the population, with random numbers from .0001 to .1000, giving me 294 individuals.
I chose one-tenth of the population because this would give me less than a 5% margin of error when extrapolating back to the larger population. Of these 294 at the time of the marriage, 141 were citizens of the United States, 72 were Japanese, 41 were Europeans, the remainder from the rest of the world. The survey was done on individuals. As it turned out, of the 294 individuals chosen there were 6 couples. I did not eliminate any of these.
I reached out to the population in two ways. First, I contacted members of the communities where the individuals lived and second I contacted the individuals directly. I also reached out into the ex-church population. Of the individuals I asked three questions -
I directly contacted 42% of the population; for the remainder I relied upon other members of the community to supply the answers. These answers were only relied upon when two of the answers given were confirmed by another. In this way I was able to gather direct or confirmed information on all but 9 individuals. These were all Japanese and I believe have returned to Japan because their marriages did not work out. This assumption has been made, I have also assumed they have left the church.
Answers responded from 0 to 6.
The average response was 2.52.
Note: This includes responses from those individuals whose marriages did not work out.
Note: I did not ask any questions regarding the level of activity of these individuals, merely whether they considered themselves to be members. Most are no longer missionary members. Also not all non-members are divorced and not all divorced individuals are non-members.
It is also interesting to note that 3 individuals have died. This is 1.02% of the population.
The rate of 82.99% success in marriage rates very favorably with the national average of 60% for first marriages. The number of children per couple, 2.52% is a little higher than the national average of 1.60%. The 1.02% death rate of a population whose current age ranges from 40 - 55 is comparable to the national average.