The Future of Unification

As I drove home from school yesterday, I listened with interest to NPR report on the wobbly state of the Unification Church in the United States.

The report, well worth a listen, is available both as text and audio here.

I was interested in the rather superficial comparisons the reporter made between the Unification Church and other American religious movements:

[By encouraging academic and financial success instead of quitting school and starting missionary work], the church is taking a page from another new religious movement: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, who are growing by leaps and bounds in part because of their economic success. As to style of worship, the Unification Church is looking to yet another model: the evangelical megachurch.

I'm sure the Mormons won't appreciate being reduced to a Prosperity [Restored] Gospel, and evangelicals at least strive to be more than "bells and whistles." As the reporter rightfully suggests, though, the Unificationists have a long way to go before entering the religious mainstream.


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