The Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, the leader of the Unification Church and founder of the Washington Times, died early Monday morning in South Korea at age 92. His death came due to complications of pneumonia.
Self-described messiah Moon founded the Unification Church in 1954 with the ambition of replacing Christianity with his own faith that blended the Western faith with Confucianism and Korean folk religions. In the following decades, Moon attracted millions of devoted followers worldwide with a message of self-discipline and clean living.
Moon sought to be a strong voice for the conservative movement, lending his support to anti-communist causes during the Cold War, and long advocating a culture focused on marriage and family.
A champion of a free and open press, Moon established newspapers and print publications throughout the world, most notably the Washington Times — the award-winning paper which has also been the favorite of many Republican leaders including President Ronald Reagan. Moon established the Times in 1982 as a means to ensure that the nation’s capital remained a two-paper city.
Moon also generated much controversy throughout his life, with critics accusing his church of “brainwashing” its members, leading to investigations like the one that resulted in his 1982 conviction for income-tax evasion and a 13-month sentence in federal prison.
According to church leaders, Moon was surrounded by family, friends and followers at the time of his passing.
[h/t Washington Times]
[Photo: AFP Photo / Emmanuel Dunand]
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