Moon, Sun Myung (sŭn yŭng mōn) [key], 1920–2012, South Korean religious leader. He was an engineering student in Japan and a dockworker before founding (1954) the Unification Church with a doctrine loosely based on Christianity as interpreted by Moon, who declared (2004) himself the "Messiah." Church teachings also included elements of Eastern philosophy and what were said to be revelations from God to Moon. He introduced the movement to the United States in the 1960s and settled there in 1972; its world headquarters are now in New York City. He also had a wide range of commercial interests in Korea, the United States, Japan, and other countries. Moon was accused of brainwashing converts and of various illegal activities; he was convicted (1982) of conspiracy to evade taxes.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.