Patheos Watermark

You are running a very outdated version of Internet Explorer. Patheos and most other websites will not display properly on this version. To better enjoy Patheos and your overall web experience, consider upgrading to the current version of Internet Explorer. Find more information HERE.

Religion Library: Unification Church
Adherents1,000,000 (disputed)
DeityGod (monotheistic)
Sacred TextThe Divine Principle (Sun Myung Moon)
OriginSouth Korea
HeadquartersNew York City, NY USA

The Unification Church, of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity - sometimes derisively referred to as the "Moonies" - is a religious movement founded in South Korea in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon. In 1971, the movement moved its base to New York City, but only a minority of its followers live in the United States. Raised in the Presbyterian church, Moon had a vision as a teenager with a charge to complete the unfinished work of Jesus Christ. After being banished from his Presbyterian church, Moon founded his own church. According to Moon, the world was created reflecting the dual nature of God, represented by the Sung Sang (masculine, causal) and the Hyung Sang (feminine, resultant). Moon held that the purpose of life and creation is to experience the joys of love. Because of the sin of humanity, the earth needs to be restored to its original intent through the intervention of a Messiah. Moon taught that the divine rule on earth was then established with the union of the Lord and the Lady of the Second Advent (claimed to be Moon and his wife) and their "ideal" family. The Unification Church's primary sacred text is Moon's book The Divine Principle and the movement stresses devotional discipline and various educational, humanitarian, and missionary activities. They are also known for their unique mass weddings.