Moonies founder and self-proclaimed Messiah dies
THE Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed messiah who turned his Unification Church into a worldwide religious movement and befriended North Korean leaders as well as US presidents, has died aged 92. Rev Moon died yesterday at a church-owned hospital near his home in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul, two weeks after being hospitalised with pneumonia.
Rev Moon, born in a town that is now in North Korea, founded his religious movement in Seoul in 1954 after surviving the Korean War The church gained fame -- and notoriety -- in the 1970s and 1980s for holding mass weddings of followers, often from different countries.
In later years, the church adopted a lower profile and focused on building a business empire that included the 'Washington Times' newspaper, the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, Bridgeport University in Connecticut, as well as a hotel and a fledgling car maker in North Korea. It acquired a ski resort, a professional soccer team and a seafood distribution firm that supplies sushi to Japanese restaurants across the US. Moon is survived by his second wife and 10 children.