WorldTies: Rev. Moon urges bridge linking Alaska, Asia
Thursday, September 29, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
Rev. Moon urges bridge linking Alaska, Asia
Challenging U.S. leaders to build a 51-mile "peace" bridge and tunnel from Alaska to Russia, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon rallied hundreds of Seattle supporters last night in an effort to bolster a religious movement best known for mass weddings.
Moon delivered a rambling, 45-minute sermon at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center that heavily criticized the United Nations and called for the end of war and the reconciliation of religious differences.
Moon offered no specifics on how a combination bridge and tunnel could be built or funded.
Korean-born Moon, 85, came to the United States in 1971 to establish the Unification Church after he claimed Jesus Christ appeared to him on a mountaintop. He has since created a multimillion-dollar empire that spreads across dozens of business sectors, from media holdings to manufacturing.
The Washington, D.C.-based church is now called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Church observers estimate fewer than 2,000 U.S. families are members, although Moon commands tens of thousands of followers in Japan and Korea.
About 250 Washington families are registered as members, according to church records.
Moon, who has a penchant for the dramatic, sparked congressional furor last year when he crowned himself the Messiah during an elaborate ceremony at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Moon declared that his teachings helped Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin become reborn as new people.
Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times CompanyDamian J. Anderson Damian.Anderson@...