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The term “Moonies” was a popular name for followers of the Unification Church – a religious sect founded by Korean industrialist Sun Myung Moon (pictured) in 1954.

From 1973 Moon launched a major mission in the USA and elsewhere.


The church was widely criticised for its manipulative methods of recruiting and keeping members.

He was convicted of tax fraud in the USA in 1982.

He was allegedly also associated with extreme right-wing organisations, arms manufacture, and the Korean Central Intelligence Agency.

On 14 August 2012, Moon was admitted to Saint Mary’s Hospital at The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul after suffering from pneumonia earlier in the month.

He was transferred to a church-owned hospital near his home in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul, on 31 August 2012 after suffering multiple organ failure.

Moon died on 3 September 2012 at the age of 92.