Photo: REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
In his most publicized event, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, blessed the union of 2,075 couples, the grooms all dressed in identical blue suits and the brides wearing white lace-and-satin gowns. In May, Unification Church officials estimated that about 70 percent of those couples are still together thirty years later, a marital success rate that well exceeds the national average.
But the Madison Garden event was not his record: Moon joined 21,000 couples in Seoul’s Olympic Stadium in 1999, and as late as 2009 he presided over a ceremony at Korea’s Sun Moon University in which 10,000 couples were wed or renewed their vows, with hundreds more joining in via the internet.
Moon died on Sunday at the age of 92, leaving behind an empire worth billions upon billions of dollars. What happens to it now?