Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/4/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Leader of the Unification Church was accused by some of brainwashing members but hailed by others for some good works

Founding his religion in Seoul, Korea in 1954, after the Korean War ended, Moon claimed that Jesus Christ personally appeared to him and instructed him to complete his unfinished work. Moon, through his own personal interpretation of the Bible which orthodox Christians rejected, forged an eclectic religious system built upon a "Divine Principle" through which he sought to unify all religions.

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon claimed that Jesus Christ personally appeared to him and called on him to complete his unfinished work.

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon claimed that Jesus Christ personally appeared to him and called on him to complete his unfinished work.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/4/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Unification Church, Korea, cult, brainwashing, Unification Church


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Spending time incarcerated in both Korean and U.S. prisons, Moon was accused of brainwashing and fleecing money from his worldwide faithful by some detractors.

It was those clean-cut young men and women people would see on the streets selling flowers to allegedly "help fight drug addiction" that would become the most visible members of his congregation - disparaged as "Moonies." However, his disciples and supporters included many more people. Numbered among them were some people in positions of great influence and control.  

Moon's multibillion-dollar enterprise stretched from the Korean Peninsula to the United States.

Founding his religion in Seoul, Korea in 1954, after the Korean War ended, Moon claimed that Jesus Christ personally appeared to him and instructed him to complete his unfinished work. Moon, through his own personal interpretation of the Bible which orthodox Christians rejected, forged an eclectic religious system built upon a "Divine Principle" through which he sought to unify all religions.

The Unification Church gained particular notoriety when thousands of followers gathered for mass weddings and "blessing" ceremonies presided over by Moon himself. Many of the couples came from different countries and had never met, but were matched up by Moon. The arranged marriages reflected his bid to promote a multicultural new world.It also raised serious concerns rearding the controlling influence of the group on such a critical life decision as choosing a spouse.

The Unification Church is said by some to have three million followers worldwide including 100,000 members in the U.S. The church has sent missionaries to 194 countries. Ex-members and critics, however, say the figure is actually no more than 100,000 members worldwide. There are groups of former members who seek to "expose" the group for its practices and claim that it is a dangerous organization.

The Unification Church has vast financial holdings. They include the ownership of the Washington Times newspaper, Connecticut's Bridgeport University; the New Yorker Hotel and a seafood distribution firm that supplies sushi to Japanese restaurants across the U.S.

Moon's church has been accused by some of using unscrupulous recruitment methods and extracting money from followers and supporters through questionable means. Some parents of followers in the U.S. maintained that their children were brainwashed into joining the group.

However, he also had his supporters who, though rejecting his religious system, praised some of the philanthropic and educational work done by the church. 

Born in 1920 in rural North Korea, Moon claimed he was 16 when Jesus Christ first appeared to him and told him to finish the work he had begun on Earth 2,000 years earlier. Moon, who tried to preach the gospel in the North Korea, was imprisoned there in the late 1940s for alleged spying for South Korea.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, he went to South Korea. After divorcing his first wife, he married Hak Ja Han Moon in 1960. According to the church, they have 10 surviving sons and daughters, according to the church.

Moon was politically and economically conservative and his outreaches were often supportive of other efforts which shared those political and economic positions and goals. As to his religious system, he espoused a family values-oriented lifestyle which he based upon an interpretation of the Bible which defied any classically Christian theology. In fact, it led to his severance from the Presbyterian Church. 

In fact, Moon's religion of unificationism is a syncretic blend of many thoughts from many religious and philosophical systems cloaked in Christian language. His church really came to the public eye with those mass weddings in Seoul in the early 1960s. The subsequent "blessing ceremonies" grew in scale over the years and the 1982 wedding at New York's Madison Square Garden, the first outside South Korea - drew thousands of couples.

Moon died at a church-owned hospital near his home in Gapyeong County, northeast of Seoul, two weeks after being hospitalized with pneumonia. Moon's wife and children were at his side. The church will hold a 13-day mourning period. The funeral will be held on Sept. 15, and Moon will be buried at nearby Cheonseung Mountain, where his home is located, according to an official statement from the church.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Four mythological symbols of China found along 1,700-year-old Silk Road Watch

Image of Ten well-preserved tombs have since been excavated.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The four mythological symbols of China - the White Tiger of the West, the Vermilion Bird of the South, and the Black Turtle of the North and the Azure Dragon of the East -- have been discovered by archaeologists in a 1,700-year-old cemetery along the old Silk ... continue reading


Agreement between Vatican and China remains far from certainty Watch

Image of There has been written contact between Pope Francis and President Xi Jinping over the past 18 months. There is reportedly a deal close on bishop appointments, which is the main stumbling block in establishing diplomatic ties.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While there appear warming overtures both between the Vatican and China, seemingly insurmountable differences remain. The general consensus is that communist-led China will have to make some compromises in its iron-clad rule in order for the Catholic Church to ... continue reading


Abortion as a contraceptive? The ugly truth of abortion in Vietnam Watch

Image of In Vietnam, estimates vary, but between 500,000 and 1 million abortions are carried out every year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A report from Vietnam's Hanoi Central Obstetrics Hospital has revealed that 40% of all pregnancies in Vietnam end in abortion, a figure that is twice as high as official government figures. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Behind China and Russia, Vietnam has ... continue reading


20 minors rescued in India child-trafficking bust Watch

Image of India has a large issue with child-trafficking, one that is often overlooked or even used by local officials.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive police crackdown on organized child trafficking has led to the arrest of 10 child traffickers and the rescue of 20 minors in India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The raids were conducted jointly by police teams from the Indian states of Chhattisgarh ... continue reading


A prelude to war! Chinese island building project aimed to create military bases in South China Sea Watch

Image of China's ongoing project of building islands for military use in the South China Sea is seen by many as confrontational and preparation for war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New satellite images are showing that China has begun constructing an island on a reef near the disputed Spratly Islands, which could be large enough to accommodate  an airstrip, its first in the South China Sea. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - That China ... continue reading


Faithful gather to celebrate 500 years of the Catholic Church in Myanmar Watch

Image of Christianity remains a small minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the Catholic Church there begins to celebrate its 500 years there, Christianity remains a small minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. According to a census conducted this year, Catholics number about 750,000 out of a population estimated at just over ... continue reading


China's icy heart? Has the Catholic Church warmed up the Asian superpower? Watch

Image of China has 12 million Catholics, but they are often split between support for the local state-run Church and the Vatican.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Relations between the Vatican and China have been frosty since the communist takeover in the 1950s, and the Holy See has found it very difficult to warm relations with the Asian superpower. But with an unprecedented proposal from China, all that could very well ... continue reading


Lessons not learned: 132 Indian women sterilized in five hours following tragedy Watch

Image of Senior officials in Ghuvara acknowledged that the family planning camp was organized by government authorities, but refused to speak on record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation of India recently saw the deaths of 13 women, with as many as 50 women seriously injured after a hasty mass sterilization camp in Ghuvara in Chhatarpur district. Lessons were not learned, it appears, as another 132 women were reportedly operated upon ... continue reading


Two billion people drink water contaminated by feces Watch

Image of According to WHO, inadequate water supply and sanitation results in annual economic losses of $260 billion.

By Magdalena Mis, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Nearly two billion people use water contaminated by feces, posing a global health risk despite billions of dollars spent on sanitation, said a report published on Wednesday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - One in seven people, mostly poor and living in ... continue reading


Five million people expected in Goa, India to venerate St. Francis Xavier Watch

Image of The saint, who died in 1552, has his remains preserved in a glass-paneled silver casket and kept inside the 16th-century Basilica of Bom Jesu (Good Jesus).

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five million people are expected to flood Goa, India in order to venerate the remains of 16th century Spanish missionary Francis Xavier. The remains will be on display for 40 days beginning this weekend.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In order to ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter