Unification church member sets self on fire, injures others
August 22, 2013 -- Updated 1739 GMT (0139 HKT)
Newly-weds at the Unification Church's mass wedding held at in Gapyeong, east of Seoul, on February 17, 2013.
- A fire official says three people were burned
- The incident comes just before the anniversary of Rev. Sun Myung Moon's death
- The Unification Church's headquarters are in Seoul
(CNN) -- A follower of the Unification Church set fire to herself and two others in South Korea Thursday, the local fire service said.
Spokesman Song Sam-soo says the Japanese woman poured paint thinner on herself and a man, and another woman standing nearby was also injured.
The man and woman suffered third-degree burns, while the bystander had second-degree burns, Song said.
However, Steve Sakuwa from the Unification Church rejected the official account, saying, "self-immolation is incorrect." Sakuwa says the woman has a mental illness and was attempting to throw the liquid at a male pastor but accidentally doused herself as well.
The incident took place in a village in Gapyeong, east of Seoul, where the church's global headquarters is based. More than 25,000 followers are expected to convene here Friday for the one-year anniversary of the death of church founder, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. It is one year by the lunar calendar.
A self-declared messiah, Moon was a controversial figure. He founded the Unification Church in 1954 after the Korean War and was well known for officiating mass weddings. Critics accuse the church of being a cult.
Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon dead at 92
CNN's Paula Hancocks reported from Tokyo, with journalist Soo Bin Park contributing to this report from Seoul.
Part of complete coverage on
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1957 GMT (0357 HKT)
Until clearer information comes to light, here's a summary of what we know, and what we don't.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1954 GMT (0354 HKT)
Christiane Amanpour speaks with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra about the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 0300 GMT (1100 HKT)
Aaron Miller says even those with little knowledge of Ukraine should spot the myths we've heard.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 2214 GMT (0614 HKT)
The father of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza said his son would have killed him if he'd had the opportunity.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Too lazy to have a shower? Worry no more, there's a lotion for that.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)
A man-eating tiger is sparking terror in India, having killed at least 10 people in 6 weeks. Sumnima Udas reports.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
This is ballet, but not as you know it. For one, there's not a ballerina in sight.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 2023 GMT (0423 HKT)
In some ways, the "Pope Francis effect" doesn't seem very effective at all.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 0156 GMT (0956 HKT)
There are five kinds of online user review -- and four of them are almost completely worthless.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 2211 GMT (0611 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
What we commonly call the Web is really just the surface. Beneath that is a vast, mostly uncharted ocean called the Deep Web.
Today's five most popular stories