Rev. Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church, will visit Bulgaria on Thursday, reports claim.
Ivan Kalchev, manager of the “Professor’s academy for peace” cooperation said before 24 Hours daily newspaper that during his tour of 100 world cities, Moon would stop by at Sofia to partake in the registration of the Unification Movement, as he had started calling his church.
Moon would land with a private plane in Sofia at an undisclosed hour, accompanied by his wife Hak Ja Han (‘Mother Moon’) and an entourage of about 30 trusted agents.
The eighty-five-year-old founder of the best-known sect in the world would stay at Sofia’s Sheraton hotel, where he would most probably wed symbolically a close circle of followers after reading a lecture on world peace, the newspaper says. Moon wouldn’t be performing a mass-wedding ceremony, something he is famous for.
Members of Moon’s sect had been preparing the visit for over two months, the daily says, adding that even the tiniest details around his meals have already been sorted out. Moon’s security measures are strict as two weeks ago his subordinates had visited Bulgaria to research the security issues at the hotel, and a whole floor had been reserved for the guest, the report says. Armored cars would take Moon and his people straight to the hotel once they land.
The reverend’s official program would start Thursday at 18:00 local time, when he would hold a lecture n Sheraton’s “Sredetz” conference room.
According to Kalchev, Moon is visiting Bulgaria on account of his eighty-fifth anniversary and fifty years since the launch of the movement.
Moon is visiting Bulgaria as a tourist, the report says, and there is no information whether he would visit any officials during his stay. After spending time in Sofia, the Korean would head off to Albania’s Tirana.
Moon established his Unification Movement under the name The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) in 1945 after fleeting from North Korea during the Korean War. With time the religious organization developed a different vision and changed its name to the Unification Church. In the 1990s he began to establish various peace organizations, including the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, which took over many of the spiritual and organizational functions of the Unification Church
The US media dubbed the members Moon Children” around 1973-1974, although this nickname was quickly shortened to “Moonies”, a term now primarily used by critics, for the members call themselves Unificationists.
Members generally consider Rev. Moon to be the new Messiah and think of him and his wife as True Parents, a term that transcends sectarian bounds.
The Movement is mostly known for its mass weddings that gather hundreds of thousands of followers who are wed simultaneously by their leader. They believe that these weddings pardon them the original sin and that leads to the birth of sinless children.