Gapyeong– In South Korea a member of the Unification Church set herself and two others on fire Thursday, according to the local fire service.
The Japanese woman poured paint thinner on herself, a man, and another woman standing nearby, said spokesman Song Sam-soo.
Reports say the woman and the man suffered third-degree burns, and the bystander second-degree burns.
But Steve Sakuwa from the Unification Church said “self-immolation is incorrect,” rejecting the official version of the story. He claimed the woman suffers from a mental illness and was intending to throw the paint thinner on a male pastor, but accidentally doused herself as well.
The incident occurred where the Unification Church’s global headquarters in located, in Gapyeong, east of Seoul.
Friday is the one-year anniversary of church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s death at age 92, and over 25,000 followers are expected to be here. The one-year is calculated by the lunar calendar.
Moon was a controversial figure and self-declared messiah who founded the church in 1954. He was famous for presiding over mass weddings.
Critics have long accused the Unification Church of being a cult. Images/Google Image