Members of the Unification Church are often referred to by the media and society at large as Moonies. The term is derived from the name of the founder of the Church, Sun Myung Moon, and is considered to be slightly derogatory by church members and officials. After a two decade long battle to have the name classified as unacceptable, the church has now seemed to resign itself to the fact that the tag will always follow it. The use of the term Moonies in popular culture, now refers to anyone who is considered to be brainwashed or a blind follower of a cult or creed. In journalistic circles it seems that the term has fallen out of favor with more positive terms being used to describe members of the Unification Church by newspapers and magazines in recent years.
While the church is based in its home country of South Korea, Moonies can be found the world over. As a whole, the church is referenced as the Unification Movement when considering all of its members and their activities. The preferred term by church members is to be called Unificationists rather than the pejorative Moonies. The crux of the church philosophy centers around the belief the Reverend Moon is the second coming of Christ, the messiah and fulfills the prophecy of Jesus. Members believe that Moon is the literal embodiment of the Divine Spirit on Earth. The church has gotten the most attention in recent years from holding what have become known as mass-weddings in stadiums and arenas. While the press has done little to clarify this misperception, the occasions are actual Blessing Ceremonies and many of the participants are already married. In an increasingly liberal culture, the Moonies have recently come under fire for their Biblical stance agains same-sex marriage and relationships.