Moon's church protests unflattering coverage

Joong Ang Daily, South Korea/August 23, 2006
By Ser Myo-ja

Complaining about a monthly magazine article, 700 members of the Unification Church, often known as "Moonies" in Western countries, overran the Dong-A Ilbo building on Chungjeongno in central Seoul yesterday morning, staying there throughout most of the day.

Two hundred and fifty protesters broke glass panels at the building's front gate and entered the building; the rest sat in outside the newspaper's office. Most left about 5 p.m.; five remained to meet with Dong-A management.

The protesters said the September issue of Shindonga, the newspaper company's monthly magazine, treated their religion with malice. They demanded an apology, a recall of the issue and punishment for the journalists involved. Police dispatched 1,500 riot police to the building to keep the protesters and newspaper staff apart.

The cover of Shindonga's September issue featured a photo of Reverend Moon Sun-myung, the founder of the church. The articles include accounts by former members, many unflattering, and an interview with Hwang Sun-jo, its international president. One of the features was titled, "Is he the messiah or a pseudo-religious leader?"

The church was founded in Seoul in 1954.

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