When did Sun Myung Moon die?

Religious founder San Myung Moon dies

The Korean religious founder San Myung Moon is dead. The founder of the "Unification Church", known to many as the "Moon sect", died on Sunday at the age of 92 from the effects of pneumonia.

The reported the "Washington Times" founded by Moon on Sunday. On Friday the denomination announced that the health of its leader had deteriorated "irreversibly". The doctors recently found kidney failure in the 92-year-old, as well as a rapid deterioration in liver activity. Moon's spokesman said the religious founder had "overworked" himself over the past few months, traveling to the United States every month.

Jesus appeared at the age of 15

Moon died at 2:00 am (Monday / local time / Sunday evening CEST) with his family, friends and supporters in his home country of South Korea, according to the Washington Times.

Reuters / Lee Jae Won

Sun Myung Moon with his wife Hak Ja Han at a wedding ceremony in 2012

He and other members of the movement founded the newspaper in 1982 as a conservative alternative to the Washington Post. Moon was born in 1920 in what is now North Korea. At the age of 15, he says he discovered his messianic mission through an apparition of Jesus. In 1954 he founded the Moon Community in South Korea, which calls itself the "Unification Church".

While their teachings are based on the Bible, they reinterpret it. Christian churches often accused Moon of spreading a false belief. The “Unification Church” is one of the most important religious communities in the world today. Around three million followers are committed to the movement, which, according to its own account, is active in missionary work in around 200 countries.

Admired and controversial

During his lifetime, San Myung Moon was highly controversial and he was admired by his followers. He allowed himself to be worshiped by them as the “True Father” - his family as the “True Family”. Moon had 14 children with his last wife. The youngest of his seven sons, Hyung Jin Moon, succeeded his father at the head of the "Unification Church" in 2008 at the age of 28.

"Words cannot express my feelings," said Washington Times President Thomas McDevitt. Moon had lived in America for a long time. "He believed in the need for a powerful, free press to convey accurate information and moral values ​​to people in a free world," said McDevitt. The newspaper has recently struggled with financial losses. Moon also owned newspapers in New York, Japan, and South America.

"Blessings" and business acumen

The Moon Group became known for its mass weddings, where thousands of couples gather for a ceremony. During the so-called blessings (blessings) he gave his blessings to thousands of couples around the globe in stadiums and via satellite.

Reuters / Handout

Mass wedding in 2009 in South Korea

To his critics, Moon was a seducer who, above and beyond his religious activities, had made it to become a billionaire thanks to a keen business acumen and devoted following. In addition to the Washington Times and the Hotel New Yorker in Manhattan, the community's economic empire also includes a car company with an offshoot in North Korea.

APA / dpa / Reuters / AFP

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