Moon, 92, recently came down with a cold and pneumonia, which worsened. He now lies unconscious in the intensive care unit of a hospital in North Korea. As of Friday, his breathing had become more stable. Doctors have given him a 50-50 chance of recovery.
Moon is known as being the founder of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, which is also called the Unification ‘Church’ for short. He began the organization in 1954, after claiming that he was a “messiah” and that Jesus told him at age 15 that he must complete His “unfinished work.”
Moon said that because Jesus did not marry during His lifetime, he failed to make humans “perfect children.” Therefore, He has become known for officiating mass weddings, which have at times involved more than 2,000 people. Moon’s organization has received criticism for matchmaking couples, and at first, those to be wed would not be allowed to meet until the day of the mass wedding. However, officials have stated that the Federation has now permitted couples to see each other prior to the ceremony. They outline that the goals of the organization are to display “trans-religious, trans-national and trans-racial love.”
Moon himself has 14 children through his second wife Hak Ja Han, who is referred to by followers as the “True Mother.” Most of their offspring live in the United States. He divorced his first wife, Sun Kil Choi, in 1953. They had one child, a son, together.
The cult leader also owns a number of well-known American businesses, such as the Washington Times newspaper, United Peace International, the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan and Kahr Arms, a pistol manufacturer in New York and Massachusetts. Additionally, Moon owns Pyeonghwa Motors, the sole automotive manufacturing plant in North Korea, as well as a number of Sushi restaurants around the world.
At one point, Moon took back ownership of the Washington Times from his son, stating, “The Washington Times has to take responsibility for people going to Hell in America.”
Followers have called for 40 days of prayer for Moon. While the organization claims to have millions of followers around the world, experts estimate actual numbers as being no more than 100,000.