October 14, 2009 – The controversial founder of the Unification Church, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, organized his church’s largest mass wedding in a decade. The reverend, whose church hand-picks the couples to be married, has received a lot of criticism over the years from faiths who criticize his leadership methods and ideology.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s church teaches that “marriage and family are core to spirituality.” He pairs together couples who believe that he is endowed with divine insight. Moon and wife Han Hak-ja preside over the mass weddings, dressed in priest-style white gowns and towering caps, marrying thousands of Unification Church couples in stadiums and arenas, despite public criticism and accusations of brain-washing.
Moon, who turns 90 this January has begun turning control of the Unification Church over to his children; three sons and one daughter. He continues to advocate for World Peace and Unity by advancing him and his followers belief that, this method of pairing followers from different nations should be a continued practice to promote the union of culture and races. The majority of the international newlyweds do not meet one another prior to the wedding ceremony, but continue to believe that their method of integrating cultures and beliefs to be the option for peace and unity.
It is reported that around 20,000 people from all around the globe tuned in via live webcast to experience the event.
One Unification Church follower, Fumi Oliver, reported from Washington that, “Marriage is the best way to make peace.” Oliver is a native of Japan, and married an American- Rev. Zagery Oliver twelve years ago and has been happy and content since.
“International, intercultural, interracial marriage is the best way to make peace,” Fumi Oliver said.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press