The Straits Times
Published on Sep 15, 2012

"Messiah" mourned at elaborate funeral in S. Korea


GAPYEONG, South Korea (AFP) - More than 30,000 mourners, many weeping openly, attended the elaborate, flower-strewn funeral in South Korea Saturday of their "messiah" and Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon.

In a ceremony that had all the trappings of a state funeral, Mr Moon's carved, red-lacquer coffin was carried by men in military-style uniforms into a stadium at the church headquarters in Gapyeong, 60km east of Seoul.

The vast, covered arena, dominated by an altar where a giant portrait of Mr Moon stood on a landscaped bank of floral tributes, was packed to capacity with church members - thousands of whom had flown in from overseas.

Many sobbed quietly as the honour guard, accompanied by members of Mr Moon's immediate family, moved through the stadium and placed the coffin at the foot of the portrait.