The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial religious leader,
is coming to the city Saturday for one of the final stops of a
six-week national tour to promote “family values.”
The event will take place from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at the
Marriott Hotel in Nashua, with doors opening at 1 p.m.
Moon founded the Unification Church, also known as the
Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, in Korea in
New Hampshire’s Unification congregation only has about 60
members, said local member Richard Buessing. Massachusetts is
home to a much larger following.
This will be the first time Moon has spoken in New
Hampshire since the 1970s, Buessing said. Moon stopped in
Boston early last month as part of the national tour.
The 81-year-old Moon has said this will probably be his
last tour in the United States.
Moon and his church have been criticized by other Christian
churches for promoting Moon as a Messianic figure. Others have
accused the Unification Church of cult-like practices,
including brainwashing and exploitation.
Moon made headlines in the 1980s when he was convicted of
income tax evasion in the United States and served about
two-thirds of an 18-month sentence.
This event, titled “Stand Together: A Celebration of Faith
and Family,” is being promoted by the church as an
interdenominational effort. Clergy from several other
Christian groups, who have worked with Moon on past interfaith
projects, are traveling with the tour.
Buessing said Moon’s focus has always been on transcending
He said the attention surrounding Moon, positive or
negative, is helpful if “over time, people do eventually
realize the good that (he does).”
Moon’s teachings regarding “family values” have been
controversial, particularly those that prescribe arranged
marriages and a submissive role for women in marriages.
The Unification Church teaches that humans inherited their
selfish natures from Satan. Followers believe their families,
formed through marriages arranged by Moon, are the first of a
new line of humans who are descendants of God and will usher
in a new era of peace.
But Buessing said family and moral issues are a matter of
universal interest, even when people don’t agree on the
“He (Moon) brings together people who don’t ordinarily come
together,” Buessing said.
Tickets to the event are free. Information and reservations
are available by calling 437-7474.
Catherine Caruso can be reached at 594-6573.