Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, blessed 20,000 people from around the world as he held his first mass wedding ceremony in years.
"As men and women representing the 6 billion mankind, go out and become the builders of the world of peace and ideals," Moon told the couples gathered on the sprawling grounds of the Sun Moon University, about 100 km (60 miles) from Seoul.
Moon and his wife sprinkled holy water over a dozen select couples called onto the stage and declared them tied in wedlock.
The Unification Church is a new religious movement, members of which are found throughout the world, with the largest number living in South Korea or Japan.
Church membership is estimated to be several hundred thousand to a few million. The church and its members own, operate, and subsidize organizations and projects involved in political, cultural, commercial, media, educational, and other activities.
Unification Church beliefs are summarized in the textbook Divine Principle and include belief in a universal God; in striving toward the creation of a literal Kingdom of Heaven on earth; in the universal salvation of all people, good and evil, living and dead; and that a man born in Korea in the early 20th century received from Jesus the mission to be realized as the second coming of Christ. Members of the Unification Church believe this Messiah is Sun Myung Moon.
The Reuters contributed to the report.
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