Thousands Marry in Mass Moonie Wedding

40,000 gather for blessing of Sun Myung Moon in Korea
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2009 8:19 AM CDT
Thousands Marry in Mass Moonie Wedding
Couples from around the world participate in a mass wedding ceremony arranged by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church at Sun Moon University south of Seoul, South Korea today.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

He is nearly 90 years old, but Sun Myung Moon—cult leader, Washington Times founder, self-proclaimed Messiah—can still draw a crowd. The leader of the Unification Church led a mass wedding for some 40,000 people outside of Seoul today, on the campus of, yes, Sun Moon University. It was the largest of the cult's so-called "blessing ceremonies" in a decade, with some couples renewing previous vows and others entering marriages arranged by Moon himself.

The brides, from the US and Europe as well as Korea and Japan, wore white wedding gowns or Japanese kimonos, while the grooms all sported identical black suits, red ties, and white shawls. One Brazilian woman, whose husband was chosen for her by church leaders, was overcome by the event. "It's the realization of a dream I've had for so long," she said. "Taking part in a mass wedding only adds to the profoundness. I barely have the words to describe what I feel." (More Reverend Sun Myung Moon stories.)

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