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Sun Myung Moon's Unification Christian Church

Rev. Sun Myung Moon
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Before coming to the United States of America, Reverend Sun Myung Moon was pro-America, envisioning a promised land where the church would thrive, far from the menacing communist government of his homeland. Moon dove into U.S. politics enthusiastically, holding rallies in support of President Nixon during the Watergate scandal, sticking up for Oliver North during the Iran-Contra affair, and lobbying members of Congress to support the South Korean government of Park Chung Hee. Moon jumped into movie-making too, with a very expensive flop about the Korean War, titled Inchon. The world of print received equal attention: Moon founded The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper devoted to right-wing causes. Every operating year, The Washington Times lost millions of dollars, but profitability was never a priority.

America did not always return Moon's love. The Christian movement developed a reputation as a cult, and parents of members called on their representatives in Congress to do something about it. Moon renamed his movement the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (New World Order?), in an attempt to remake its image, but Moon just could not stay away from bad publicity. Word got out he was a little too closely tied to the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. There were accusations of influence buying. In 1982, Moon was convicted of tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice and sentenced to 18 months in a U.S. federal prison.

Although at the time he accused the justice system of persecution because of his race and religion, Moon continued to be active in conservative U.S. politics throughout the 1990s and beyond. In 1994, Jerry Falwell became good friends with Moon. In 2004, at a Washington D.C. banquet attended by several members of Congress, Moon had himself crowned "humanity's savior, messiah, returning lord, and true parent." Despite all the challenges it has encountered, Moon's Christian movement goes on. The Reverend Moon died in 2012 at the age of 92, turning over operations to his youngest son, Hyung Jin Moon. Worldwide membership is difficult to estimate, but some experts put numbers in the range of 250,000 people, stated Source Interlink Media.