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Pictures | Fri Feb 7, 2020 | 11:30am EST

Mass wedding attracts thousands despite coronavirus fears

Couples wearing masks attend a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea, February 7. Mass weddings are a well-known feature of the South Korea-based church, but the spread of the new coronavirus has cast a pall over many public events.  
REUTERS/Heo Ran

Couples wearing masks attend a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea, February 7. Mass weddings are a well-known feature of the South Korea-based church, but the spread of the new...more

Couples wearing masks attend a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea, February 7. Mass weddings are a well-known feature of the South Korea-based church, but the spread of the new coronavirus has cast a pall over many public events. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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About 30,000 people from around the world gathered at the Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul, according to the church. Among them were 6,000 new couples getting married, while the others were renewing vows or watching.  

 REUTERS/Heo Ran

About 30,000 people from around the world gathered at the Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul, according to the church. Among them were 6,000 new couples getting married, while the others were renewing vows or watching. ...more

About 30,000 people from around the world gathered at the Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul, according to the church. Among them were 6,000 new couples getting married, while the others were renewing vows or watching. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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Church staff prepared hand sanitizer, handed out surgical masks and checked couples' temperature.  


 REUTERS/Heo Ran

Church staff prepared hand sanitizer, handed out surgical masks and checked couples' temperature. REUTERS/Heo Ran

Church staff prepared hand sanitizer, handed out surgical masks and checked couples' temperature. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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A couple wearing masks attend a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in South Korea, February 7. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple wearing masks attend a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in South Korea, February 7. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple wearing masks attend a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in South Korea, February 7. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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A couple at the mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea, February 7. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple at the mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea, February 7. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple at the mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea, February 7. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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The church said the wedding was successful. The event had special significance as it also marked the 100th anniversary of founder Sun Myung Moon's birth.   



REUTERS/Heo Ran

The church said the wedding was successful. The event had special significance as it also marked the 100th anniversary of founder Sun Myung Moon's birth. REUTERS/Heo Ran

The church said the wedding was successful. The event had special significance as it also marked the 100th anniversary of founder Sun Myung Moon's birth. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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Couples wearing masks for protection during the mass wedding ceremony.  

REUTERS/Heo Ran

Couples wearing masks for protection during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran

Couples wearing masks for protection during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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The Unification Church was founded in 1954 by the late Moon, who declared he and his wife were messiahs. From 1961 until his death in 2012, he oversaw mass weddings at which thousands were matched with spouses they sometimes had just met and who, in some cases, did not even speak the same language.   


 REUTERS/Heo Ran

The Unification Church was founded in 1954 by the late Moon, who declared he and his wife were messiahs. From 1961 until his death in 2012, he oversaw mass weddings at which thousands were matched with spouses they sometimes had just met and who, in...more

The Unification Church was founded in 1954 by the late Moon, who declared he and his wife were messiahs. From 1961 until his death in 2012, he oversaw mass weddings at which thousands were matched with spouses they sometimes had just met and who, in some cases, did not even speak the same language. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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A bride wearing a mask during the mass wedding ceremony.  
   REUTERS/Heo Ran

A bride wearing a mask during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A bride wearing a mask during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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A couple during the mass wedding ceremony.  REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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A couple during the mass wedding ceremony.  REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran

A couple during the mass wedding ceremony. REUTERS/Heo Ran
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