Founder of 'Moonies' in intensive care, church says
updated 8:58 PM EDT, Thu August 16, 2012
Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, is shown here on July 22. He is now in intensive care, a spokesman says.
- Sun Myung Moon's church gained fame worldwide for its mass weddings
- He is the founder of The Washington Times newspaper
- His doctor has given him only a 50% chance of survival, a church spokesman says
Seoul (CNN) -- The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the church colloquially known as the Moonies, is unconscious and undergoing treatment for pneumonia at a hospital in South Korea, a spokesman said Thursday.
His doctor has given him only a 50% chance of survival, spokesman Ahn Ho-yeol said.
Doctors put the 92-year-old founder of the Unification Church in intensive care Tuesday, where he is breathing through a respirator, the church spokesman said.
Moon felt ill suddenly and was hospitalized in Seoul in "grave condition."
Protester swim escalates island dispute
World class gamer: Inside look at MVP
Open Mic: South Koreans take on gaming
The Unification Church gained fame worldwide for its mass weddings decades ago, including at New York City's Madison Square Garden.
Many met their spouses-to-be for the first time during the ceremony. In addition to weddings in South Korea, couples from various countries took part in the ceremony through satellite hookups.
The controversial Moon, whose church critics compare to a cult, served a federal prison term in the United States for tax evasion.
He was also a strong supporter of Republican politicians including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, said Eileen Barker, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
He was "virulently anti-Communist," having been imprisoned in North Korea during the Korean War before being freed by the allies, she said.
Moon is the founder of The Washington Times newspaper, which vocally backed Reagan, she said.
In 2010, the newspaper was sold to a group operating on his behalf, according to a statement on the paper's website.
In his later years, his position toward North Korea softened, and he met the late North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung and invested some money in the North.
His followers regard Moon as the messiah who is completing the salvation that Jesus Christ failed to accomplish.
His church says Jesus was divine but he is not God, a position that puts the Unification Church outside the bounds of traditional Christianity.
Different measures are under way in case of the worst-case scenario, according to the church spokesman. He did not elaborate on the measures.
Followers of the church worldwide are praying for his health, he said.
CNN's Richard Allen Greene contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.