SOME 2,500 COUPLES have taken part in a mass wedding ceremony at the CheongShim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea today.
Couples identically-dressed couples – many of mixed nationality who had met just days before – exchanged and reaffirmed their marriage vows in Unification Church’s mass wedding arranged by Hak Ja Han Moon, wife of the late Reverand Sun Myung Moon, the controversial founder of the Unification Church.
Sun Myung Moon of the church died last year.
Mass weddings, some held in giant sports stadia with tens of thousands of couples, have long been a signature feature of the church and one that “Moonie” critics have pointed to as evidence of cult underpinnings.
The church’s mass weddings began in the early 1960s. At first, they involved just a few dozen couples but the numbers mushroomed over the years.
Many are married just hours after meeting for the first time, and Moon’s preference for cross-cultural, international marriages means that they often share no common language.
In recent years, matchmaking responsibilities have shifted towards parents.