'Moonies' Founder Sun Myung Moon Dies at 92

Society » OBITUARIES | September 3, 2012, Monday // 08:05
Bulgaria: 'Moonies' Founder Sun Myung Moon Dies at 92 Moon speaks during the opening ceremony of the Peace Cup match between Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Sunderland on July 19 in Suwon, South Korea. His Sunmoon Peace Football Foundation organizes the preseason soccer tournament. Photo by Getty Images

Self-styled messiah Sun Myung Moon, whose Unification Church became famous for marrying thousands of people in a single ceremony, has died, aged 92, BBC reported.

Moon set up the Church, whose members are often called Moonies, in the 1950s in the South Korean capital, Seoul.

He claimed to have millions of members, many in the US, but was accused of brainwashing and profiteering.

Moon built up a global business empire, setting up newspapers, arms factories, universities and food distributors.

Moon died early on Monday at a hospital near his home in Gapyeong, north-east of Seoul, where the headquarters of his church is located.

He had been admitted to the hospital, which is owned by the Church, two weeks ago suffering from pneumonia.

The Church will hold a 13-day mourning period before his funeral on 15 September. Moon will be buried at Cheonseung Mountain, near his home.

"He was our father and God's messiah. His body was custom-made by God so we believed he would live until 100," his aide Bo Hi Pak told journalists.

Moon's youngest son, Hyung-jin Moon, became the Church's most senior leader in 2008.

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