The funeral held on Saturday September 15 drew over 30,000 mourners for the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon, head of the Unification Church. The 92-year old religious leader died on September 3 after complications stemming from pneumonia. While the Unification Church believes in Jesus Christ, it does not accept him as God. The late Reverend Sun Myung Moon is the messiah for followers of the Unification Church.

More than 30,000 mourners attended the funeral held at the Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea. The ‘Seonghwa‘ or ascension service as it is known to Unification Church members, is the funerary tradition of followers of the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

His son and successor, Reverend Hyung Jin Moon, read the eulogy. The conclusion of the ceremony came after two weeks of mourning.

Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s evangelism began in earnest in the 1950s after he claimed that Jesus appeared to him in a vision and asked him to finish his mission on Earth. He was once imprisoned in North Korea before being freed by the allies. This experience made him a staunch anti-Communist and he was known to support Republican presidential candidates in U.S. politics.

Most famous for conducting mass weddings that pledged men and women together in marriage en masse drew attention to the sometimes obscure religious movement he led. The largest of his mass wedding ceremonies was in 1995 that united over 360,000 couples in marriage in South Korea.

Not without controversy, Reverend Moon was imprisoned in the United States at one point for tax evasion and was denied entry into the United Kingdom for similar issues.

 

[CNN]