The Unification Church has come in for much derision. Known as the Moonies, after its founder Sun Myung Moon, they are famous for their mass wedding ceremonies, one involving 30,000 couples in Seoul in 1992. Such couples do not know each other before marriage, yet, despite its bizarre nature, apart from abstinence from the ‘luxuries’ of modern life, members live relatively normal lives after the ceremony.
Moon was born in 1920 Korea, having a vision of Jesus at sixteen where he became convinced he had to carry on his mission. From a peasant family, he set up his Church in 1954, gaining criticism for now living a luxurious lifestyle.
A mixture of Christianity and Shamanism, Moon believes he can bring peace and harmony to the world by marrying so many people from different ethnic backgrounds that a form of global person arises, free from the hates that fuel the world.
(c) Anthony North, Jan 2007