Never met but made for each other

New Zealand Herald/August 12, 2006
By Simon Collins

Looking at two photos was enough for the Rev Sun Myung Moon to decide that Steve Evans and Susi Miodek were made for each other.

They had never met. Mr Evans lived in Seattle, Washington, Miss Miodek was in Australia.

But when Mr Moon suggested that they might be good partners, they agreed to meet in Korea, and married in August 1992 in a mass wedding with 30,000 other couples in the Seoul Olympic stadium.

Today Mr Evans, 56, chairs the New Zealand branch of the Universal Peace Foundation and Mrs Evans, also 56, leads the local branch of the International Education Foundation which promotes "character education". They live in Parnell with their daughter Hana-Lei, 6.

"In our movement, Father Moon matches people," Mrs Evans said.

"He says: 'Through prayer my intelligence has strengthened spiritually.' He becomes very open and is able to receive from God indications of who should come together with whom, of who can restore historical rifts. Myself as a Jew, Steve as a Catholic - how can we restore historical resentments?"

Mr Moon's following in New Zealand is tiny. In the 2001 census, 153 people gave their religion as "Unification Church [Moonist]".

The name was changed in 1996 to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

Mr Evans retains the title "Reverend" from his days as a pastor in the church, and holds 5am daily prayer meetings at the group centre in Parnell.

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