‘I married a stranger at a mass wedding’: Life inside the Unification Church

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When Jinae first met her husband, she could hardly communicate with him. He was from Japan and she was brought up in the US, but according to Jinae this “was kind of normal in the church”.

She was born into a religious movement called The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, more commonly known as the Unification Church.

Founded in Seoul, South Korea in 1954, those who are faithful to the Unification Church are often nicknamed ‘Moonies’, after their leader Sun Myung Moon. Jinae says she was taught to believe that Reverend Moon was the “Messiah” and the “True Father”.

Moon was staunchly anti-communist and his church spread internationally during the cold war. Today, the church operates in 120 countries and has around 600,000 members. It gained notoriety for its so-called “mass weddings”, blessing ceremonies of thousands of couples, often held in indoor arenas or outdoor sports stadiums.

Jinae’s parents matched her with her future husband, and they were married in a mass wedding ceremony in Korea. Jinae says this ceremony signifies the change of blood lineage from Satan’s lineage to God’s lineage.

As a “Blessed Child”, second-generation member of the Church, she had known her whole life this was her fate. On her wedding day she says she was miserable.

“I couldn’t disappoint my parents and I couldn’t lose my community.”This was my whole life.”

According to Jinae, shortly after she was born, Reverend Moon decreed all member’s children should be raised in Church nurseries or by their grandparents. She says this enabled her parents to dedicate more of their life to the Church’s mission.

“So much of my life was decided before I was even old enough to have a say in anything,” she told SBS Dateline.

Content retrieved from: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/article/i-married-a-stranger-at-a-mass-wedding-life-inside-the-unification-church/b3itvk2rv.

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