Thousands Marry in Mass Wedding at 'Moonies' Church in South Korea
3,800 couples from more than fifty countries exchanged vows on Tuesday at a mass wedding ceremony held by the South Korean Unification Church near Seoul. The majority of participants had already been married and simply wanted to renew their vows as full members of the church. But 800 young couples had met just a few days earlier, among them twenty year old Londoner Michael Schroder who was matched up with twenty-one year Atsumi Sato from Japan. The church’s mass weddings began in the early 1960s, and many of the couples were personally matched by the founder Sun Myung Moon, who claimed that romantic love leads to dysfunctional societies. Moon preferred cross-cultural marriages but was criticized for often matching couples with no common language. Since his death three years ago, his widow Hak Ja Han has taken the reigns and started officiating the weddings.