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Hyung Jin Sean Moon (born 1979) is the South Korean-American local pastor and co-founder, alongside his wife, Yeon Ah Lee Moon, of the Pennsylvania-based World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, an offshoot or unofficial sect of the Unification movement.[1][2][3][4]

Hyung Jin Moon
Revised RomanizationMun Hyeong-jin
McCune–ReischauerMun Hyŏngjin

Early life and educationEdit

Moon was born September 26, 1979,[5] in Tarrytown, New York. He is the youngest son of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification movement. He attended the Hackley School until college. He earned bachelor of liberal arts and master of theology degrees from Harvard University.[6] At the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions, he met the leader of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Bub Jang, and pursued an interest in Buddhism.[7] He also practiced Tibetan Buddhism, and for a time lived in a Roman Catholic monastery.[8]

Religious careerEdit

In April 2008, Sun Myung Moon (then 88 years old) appointed Hyung Jin Moon to be the International President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). Hyung Jin Moon and members of his church, believe that a coronation ceremony with his father in 2009 made him heir and successor.[9][10] Under his leadership the Family Federation for World Peace was changed to the Unification Church.[11] He also introduced new practices, like spiritual energy hand movements[12] Most of these changes were dismissed after he was removed in 2015. The Family Federation for World Peace, on the other hand, considers Hyung Jin Moon's church a "breakaway organization."[13][14]

In 2011 Hyung Jin Moon visited North Korea to express condolences on the death of Kim Jong-il.[15] In 2011 in Pyongyang, to mark the 20th anniversary of Sun Myung Moon's visit to North Korea, de jure President Kim Yong-nam hosted Hyung Jin Moon in the official residence.[16][17] The latter donated 600 tons of flour to North Korean children of North Pyongan Province, the birthplace of Sun Myung Moon.[18][19] Also, after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, he donated $1.7 million to the Japanese Red Cross.[20][21]

Hyung Jin Moon and his mother began expressing open differences after Sun Myung Moon died in 2012. He was removed by his mother from various positions from 2013 and eventually[22][23] taken down as International President of the Family Federation for World Peace and replaced by Sung Jin Moon.[24][25]

Hyung Jin Moon and members of his church have publicly criticized his mother, Hak Ja Han, for changing the theological foundations of his father's teachings and elevating her own status.[26][27][28]

Gun controversyEdit

Hyung Jin Moon's church, World Peace and Unification Sanctuary Church in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, gained national attention[29][30][31] in early 2018 for holding a marriage vows renewal ceremony that asked participants to bring their AR-15 rifles.[32] Hyung Jin Moon has likened the AR-15's to the biblical "rod of iron".[33] Neighbors of the church came out to protest the insensitivity of having the AR-15 rifles at the event so soon after the Parkland, Florida, shooting that killed 17.[34] To address concerns voiced by parents of an elementary school nearby, the Wallenpaupack Area School District relocated students for the day.[35] The Southern Poverty Law Center called Moon an "[a]nti-LGBT cult leader" in an article it published in January 2018 that explored the church's doctrine and leadership and upcoming ceremony with guns.[36]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ [4]
  5. ^ Staff report (1979). Transition Newsweek
  6. ^ Sons Rise in a Moon Shadow, Forbes, April 12, 2010
  7. ^ Rev. Sun Myung Moon: His Family 2014-05-20.
  8. ^ Son of Moonies founder takes over as church leader, Justin McCurry, The Guardian, 26 April 2008
  9. ^, The Washington Times. "The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of The Times, dies at 92".
  10. ^ Unification Church pres sees smaller mass weddings Archived 2009-03-22 at the Wayback Machine, Daily Monitor, 2008-12-30
  11. ^ [5]
  12. ^ [6]
  13. ^ [7]
  14. ^ [8]
  15. ^ Unification Church president on condolence visit to N. Korea, Yonhap News, 2011-12-26.
  16. ^ "문선명은 김정일 사망 알았나".
  17. ^ Associated Press Son of Unification Church founder meets with senior North Korean official in Pyongyang, The Washington Post, 15 December 2011 (копия)
  18. ^ "S. Korea says food aid reached intended beneficiaries in N. Korea".
  19. ^ "Kbs News". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  20. ^ "はてなブックマーク – たびのわ »UCニュース»日本赤十字社に文総裁からの寄付金を渡された文亨進世界会長". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  21. ^ "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2012-05-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ [9]
  23. ^ [10]
  24. ^ [11]
  25. ^ [12]
  26. ^ [13]
  27. ^ [14]
  28. ^ [15]
  29. ^ CNN, Amir Vera,. "Couples clutching AR-15 rifles renew wedding vows".CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  30. ^ Phillips, Kristine (1 March 2018). "With crowns on their heads and AR-15s in their arms, couples exchange vows in pro-gun church" – via
  31. ^ "AR-15 rifles, pistols, crowns of bullets and renewal of wedding vows in church". 1 March 2018.
  32. ^ "February 28, 2018 "Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing" Ceremony – World Peace and Unification Sanctuary".
  33. ^ Sanctuary, Unification (19 January 2018). "Peace Police Peace Militia Intro" – via Vimeo.
  34. ^ "Florida high school shooting: Here's what we know".
  35. ^ "Different School Day for Wallenpaupack Elementary Students". 28 February 2018.
  36. ^ "Anti-LGBT cult leader calls on followers to purchase assault rifles".

External linksEdit