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Over 5,000 couples marry in mass ceremony.

Summary: A controversial church has held a mass wedding in South Korea, uniting over 5,200 couples in matrimony, or re-affirming their vows.

A controversial church has held a mass wedding in South Korea, uniting over 5,200 couples in matrimony, or re-affirming their vows.

Over 2,000 couples and 20,000 spectators crammed into a sports stadium in Gapyeong, 47 miles northeast of Seoul, for a service by the Unification Church, which is known for its mass wedding ceremonies.

Many more married in linked ceremonies online.

The church's leader, Sun Myung Moon, and his wife were there to bless the mass ceremony. They sprinkled holy water over selected couples and declared them married.

"The mass wedding leads all mankind to be one, removing the boundaries of ethnicities, religions and nationalities. Our goal is making the world peaceful with forming new families," said Seuk Joon-ho, President of Unification Church of Korea.

The church considers the Korean peninsula a sacred place with its website saying that Jesus Christ appeared to Sun Myung Moon as he was praying in the Korean mountains and asked him "to complete the task of establishing "God's kingdom on Earth".

However, it has been dismissed as a cult by many, with Moon Sun-myung once jailed in the United States for tax evasion. He also declared in 1992 that he and his wife were messiahs.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2012. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Mar 24, 2012
Words:251
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