Self-styled messiah Sun Myung Moon, who set up the Unification Church and became famous for marrying thousands of people in a single ceremony, has died aged 92 of pneumonia.

Moon, seen here with his wife, presided over the massed weddings, at which thousands of his followers called 'Moonies' were matched with spouses they sometimes had just met and who, in some cases, did not even speak the same language. He said that when he was 15, Jesus appeared to him and demanded he set up God's kingdom on Earth.

Critics condemned his church as a dangerous cult and questioned its murky finances, which saw the leader sent to jail for 3 years tax fraud.

Though its following has fallen in recent years, at its peak in the early 1990s, it was believed to have as many as 7 million followers in 180 nations. And though he was a strident anti-communist, Moon visited North Korea in 1991 and met the reclusive state's founder Kim Il-sung to discuss business ventures and unification. The Church will hold a 13-day mourning period before his funeral on 15<sup>th of September.

Written and presented by Ann Salter.