Reverend Sun Myung Moon, one of the world’s most controversial leaders, has died at the age of 92.
Unification Church spokesman Ahn Ho-yeul told AP that Moon died at a church-owned hospital in South Korea of complications from pneumonia. Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah, founded the Unification Church after supposedly being chosen by Jesus Christ to complete His work. The worldwide movement claims to have about 3 million “moonies” or followers, including 100,000 from the US.
Moon said he was commissioned by Christ to to “destroy the evils of communism”. Moon is known for presiding over arranged weddings between black and white partners and Japanese with Koreans in “an attempt to break down divisions”. His church was accused of brainwashing and was seen as a “cult”. Moon also attempted to “unify” the Korean peninsula.
The church owns various businesses across US, South Korea and North Korea and there is much speculation on its unseemly wealth. The movement’s survival now depends on Moon’s children, who are more interested in running his business empire, the Financial Times reports.