According to Reuters, about 1 000 couples were married, and another 3 000 couples renewed vows at a ceremony in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul. There was a definitive mix of people and all together 64 nationalities were represented in the mass ceremony. 

One of the people who got married in the mass ceremony is Iasmin Lumibao who traveled from Macau to South Korea to follow in the footsteps of her parents who also got married in a mass wedding in the Unification Church 25 years earlier. 

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The church’s founder and self-declared messiah, Sun Myung Moon, started the tradition of playing matchmaker for couples who had never met and sometimes didn’t even speak the same language in the early 1960s and carried it on until his death in 2012. His wife Hak Ja Han now carries on the custom.

According to BBC, Moon said he was chosen by Jesus Christ to establish an ideal world of peace and harmony and this is why he started the church. 

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Followers of the church are known by the derogatory term “Moonies” and critics have often questioned not only the dodgy finances of the church, but also how it indoctrinates followers and has been disparaged by these same critics as being unorthodox and a cult. The church has also been accused of brainwashing.

According to The Telegraph, those who choose to be matched by the church must confirm under oath that they are virgins, and after their wedding the couple must refrain from sexual relations for a minimum of 40 days.

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