Thousands Marry in South Korean Mass Wedding

More than 2,000 couples wed at the global headquarters of the Unification Church

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Thousands of nearly identically-dressed couples tied the knot in a mass wedding in South Korea on Wednesday, part of an event organized by the Unification Church.

Some 2,500 couples took part in the ceremony at the church’s global headquarters in Gapyeong, east of the capital Seoul, but in total about 20,000 couples were married around the world by watching proceedings live on the Internet.

Couples traveled from all over the globe to take part in the ceremony. From the United States, Ilseuk Masuda and Rachel Curtin exchanged vows in the crowd – he wore a red tie; she donned a traditional white gown. The couple’s parents, who were also married through the Church, exchanged vows in a mass wedding in New York in 1982. Their children are proud to follow in their footsteps.

“From an American culture stand point it’s not normal to be married with hundreds of other couples, but really objectively we don’t think  it’s that strange,” Masuda said.

Sun Myung Moon, a media and business mogul turned self-styled messiah, founded the church in 1954 in Seoul. He preached new interpretations of lessons from the Bible, raising eyebrows for what critics have characterized as a cult.

The church gained fame in the 1970s and 80s for holding mass weddings of thousands of followers. The first mass weddings began in the early 1960s, with the numbers of couples participating mushrooming over the years. In 1997, 30,000 couples tied the knot in Washington, and two years later around 21,000 filled the Olympic Stadium in Seoul.

Moon was often the one who matched up couples from different countries for the Church’s nuptials, in a bid to build a multicultural religious world—even when, in some instances, the paired couple didn’t share a common language. Since Moon’s death in 2012, his 70-year-old widow, Hak Ja Han, has been presiding over the ceremonies.

40 comments
MatthewPa
MatthewPa

The Unification church has been a known cult for decades.  With the internet, how does it still exist?  Just type into Google and see the literally millions of problems with it.  Still amazing how easily people are brainwashed these days.

Vivian Foster
Vivian Foster

Weren't these directed by a rev moon and his cult?

Alejandra Garcia
Alejandra Garcia

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William Than
William Than

ဆင္တူအ၀တ္ခ်ဳပ္၀တ္ၾကတယ္ဆုိေတာ့၊ ခ်ဳပ္တဲ့ေကာင္ေတြ ေထာျပီေနာ္။

Han Cho
Han Cho

ㅋㅋㅋ 보통이라고 할수는 없네요 ㅋ

Woosang Kim
Woosang Kim

외국인들도 끔찍해하네. 우리도 그런데

Corvus Corax
Corvus Corax

Pero q lo hagan bien y q la noche de bodas sea igual.

Rebecca Sharp
Rebecca Sharp

Haha Lara Hill it's like the documentary we watched!

Lara Chong
Lara Chong

Guys, FYI, it happened in S.Korea not in the N.Korea. And this is more like a religious ceremony than a normal wedding ceremony by Unification Church as the article said.

McPhee VoniaBlack
McPhee VoniaBlack

Weird how other countries commit n thousands & America can't even n 100s. What does that say about us? Marriage is sacred not a contract your allowed to break & pay money to terminate when you don't like it or get reinbursed for.

Dennis Teti
Dennis Teti

With as many people as there are in the eastern part of the world, it's a good thing to do things in bulk!

Matt O'Donnell
Matt O'Donnell

North Korea says "Any further mass weddings will be considered an act of war".

O.j. Galloway
O.j. Galloway

They should be getting ready to fight kim joung

Barbara Maxtone-Graham
Barbara Maxtone-Graham

Queen Victoria would be so pleased...her virginal white dress has taken over the weddings of the world.

LynelleCurtin
LynelleCurtin

Thanks Francesca for interviewing my little Ray-baby, couldn't afford to travel to Korea to be with them, so this was great to see :)


LynelleCurtin
LynelleCurtin

@MatthewPa It still exists because despite the problems, there are still many positive things about the movement. Many of the things on the internet are true, but all faiths have their problems, unfortunately there are ideals and then there are corrupt human beings always ruining things. I joined in 1975 and I am very aware of all the negative things on the internet, but the bottom line for me is how to raise my kids and what ethics I live by. And I am really happy and proud of how my children turned out. Because of all the problems since Rev. Moon's death, I have decided only to support my local churches activities, and, sending my kids to the Blessing. I'm hoping what's meant to remain will and what's not will be forgotten in 100 years.

LynelleCurtin
LynelleCurtin

No, they also have personal traditional ceremonies, this event is all the new couples getting married offering their marriage up to God and vowing to also raise a family centered on God's love and bringing about world unification and peace.

LynelleCurtin
LynelleCurtin

Really? And do you know which one is true, with absolutely no falsehoods?