Present or Not, 3,500 Couples Tie the Knot at Moon Wedding

SEOUL, South Korea, FEB. 17, 2002 ( Sun Myung Moon´s Unification Church on Saturday celebrated what it described as its largest marriage ceremony ever.

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In South Korea´s Olympic Stadium, 3,500 couples were married, including newlyweds who did not know their mates beforehand.

Spokesmen of the sect said the couples came from 186 countries. Thousands followed the ceremony on Internet.

The Internet transmission revealed that many brides and grooms were alone during the ceremony, and only had portraits of their absent spouses, who were unable to attend for a variety of reasons.

The atmosphere was enlivened by the soundtrack of the film “Titanic.” The Unification Church had its first mass wedding in 1961.

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