Sun Myung Moon

Sun Myung Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon speaks, Las Vegas, NV, USA on April 4, 2010.png
Moon in Las Vegas, Nevada, 4 April 2010
BornMun Yong-myeong
(1920-01-06)6 January 1920
Chongju, North Pyongan, Japanese Korea
(now North Pyongan, North Korea)
Died3 September 2012(2012-09-03) (aged 92)
Gapyeong County, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
OccupationReligious leader, businessperson, media mogul, political activist
Known forFounder of Unification Church
Spouse(s)Choi Sun-kil (1944–1953)
Hak Ja Han (1960- )
Korean name
Revised RomanizationMun Seon-myeong
McCune–ReischauerMun Sŏnmyŏng
Birth name
Revised RomanizationMun Yong-myeong
McCune–ReischauerMun Yongmyŏng

Sun Myung Moon (Korean 문선명 Mun Seon-myeong; born Mun Yong-myeong; 25 February 1920 – 3 September 2012) was a Korean religious leader, also known for his business ventures and support for political causes.[1][2] A messiah claimant, he was the founder of the Unification movement (members of which considered him and his wife Hak Ja Han to be their "True Parents"),[3] and of its widely noted "Blessing" or mass wedding ceremony, and the author of its unique theology the Divine Principle.[4][5][6] He was an opponent of communism and an advocate for Korean reunification, for which he was recognized by the governments of both North and South Korea.[7] Businesses he promoted included News World Communications, an international news media corporation known for its American subsidiary The Washington Times,[8][9][10] and Tongil Group, a South Korean business group (chaebol),[11][12][13] as well as various related organizations.[1][14]

Moon was born in what is now North Korea. When he was a child, his family converted to Christianity.[15] In 1947 he was convicted by the North Korean government of spying for South Korea and given a five-year sentence to the Hŭngnam labor camp.[16] In 1954, he founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in Seoul, South Korea based on conservative, family-oriented teachings from new interpretations of the Bible.[15][16] In 1971, he moved to the United States[17] and became well known after giving a series of public speeches on his beliefs.[18][19] In the 1982 case United States v. Sun Myung Moon he was found guilty of willfully filing false federal income tax returns and sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. His case generated protests from clergy and civil libertarians, who said that the trial was biased against him.[20]

Moon was criticized for making high demands on his followers.[21][22][23] His wedding ceremonies also drew criticism, especially after they involved members of other churches, including Roman Catholic archbishop Emmanuel Milingo.[24][25] He was also criticized for his relationships with political and religious figures, including U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon,[26] George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev,[27] North Korean President Kim Il Sung,[28] and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.[29]

Early life

Sun Myung Moon was born Moon Yong Myeong on 25 February 1920, in modern-day North P'yŏng'an Province, North Korea, at a time when Korea was under Japanese rule. He was the younger of two sons in a farming family of eight children.[16] Moon's family followed Confucianist beliefs until he was around 10 years old, when they converted to Christianity and joined the Presbyterian Church.[30]

In 1941, Moon began studying electrical engineering at Waseda University in Japan.[21] During this time he cooperated with Communist Party members in the Korean independence movement against Imperial Japan.[31] In 1943, he returned to Seoul and married Sun Kil Choi on 28 April 1945. On 2 April 1946 their son, Sung Jin Moon was born.[1] In the 1940s, Moon attended a church in Sangdo dong that was led by the messianic minister Baek Moon Kim, who claimed that he had been given by Jesus the mission to spread the message of a "new Israel" throughout the world.[32] Around this time Moon changed his given name to Sun Myung.[33]

Following World War II, Korea was divided along the 38th parallel into two trusteeships: the United States and the Soviet Union.[23][34] Pyongyang was the center of Christian activity in Korea until 1945. From the late forties 166 priests and other religious figures were killed or disappeared in concentration camps, including Francis Hong Yong-ho, bishop of Pyongyang[35] and all monks of Tokwon abbey.[36][37] In 1947 Moon was convicted by the North Korean government of spying for South Korea and given a five-year sentence to the Hŭngnam labor camp.[16] In 1950, during the Korean War United Nations troops had raided Hŭngnam and the guards fled. Moon escaped and traveled to Busan, South Korea.[38][39][40]

Other Languages
български: Сан Мьон Муун
čeština: Son-mjong Mun
español: Sun Myung Moon
Esperanto: Sun Myung Moon
français: Sun Myung Moon
한국어: 문선명
Bahasa Indonesia: Sun Myung Moon
italiano: Sun Myung Moon
Kapampangan: Sun Myung Moon
Nederlands: Sun Myung Moon
日本語: 文鮮明
português: Sun Myung Moon
română: Sun Myung Moon
русский: Мун Сон Мён
Simple English: Sun Myung Moon
српски / srpski: Сан Мјунг Мун
Türkçe: Sun Myung Moon
українська: Мун Сон Мьон
Tiếng Việt: Sun Myung Moon
中文: 文鲜明