James Beverley, a professor at Tyndale Seminary in Canada and associate director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, says converting non-Unificationists is a "hard sell.""When you tell the average Christian in North America that Rev. But the church has turned 180 degrees, he says."My oldest son is in Harvard Medical School. That's definitely what we've encouraged them to do, and we hope they can not only make Unificationism great, but contribute to the world."In this, the church is taking a page from another new religious movement: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, who are growing by leaps and bounds in part because of their economic success.
Some members believe this might be one of the last mass weddings conducted by the nonagenarian founder of the controversial Unification Church, whose membership has dwindled in recent years.He's not dating anyone his church doesn't allow it and he believes that is the key to a successful marriage."I'm not really interested in random flings with different girls," he says."Ultimately, what I want is a happy and successful family, and a loving relationship with someone with whom I can share my life."Moon matched Roderick's father, Wayne, in 1979 to a French graduate student in a mass ceremony.He says having a marriage like his parents' is "the end game." And the church wants to help him get there.The History Of The Movement During the pre-marriage workshop in January, family department director Phillip Schanker laid out the road map to a happy Unification marriage: no sex (or dating) before marriage, selflessness, service and the strength to weather all relationship storms.It inspired an army of young people to drop out of college, live in vans and raise funds for the church.