"Moonies" church founder to visit as ban lifted

London, England - Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church whose followers are known to critics as "Moonies," will visit London after the government lifted a ban that had decreed him a danger to the public, his followers said on Friday.

The government said it no longer regarded him as a threat.

"The Unification Church in the United Kingdom is extremely small and any visit from its founder

is now considered unlikely to present any threat to public order in this country," a Home Office spokesman said.

The Korean-born Moon, who proclaims himself the Messiah, will arrive on Saturday and meet about 1,300 followers at a "private event" as part of a 100-city world tour, Unification movement spokesman Robin March said.

His last attempt to visit Britain 10 years ago was stopped by a government ban which called him a threat to public order, one of several that the government has imposed and which his followers have fought in court.

Moon's followers were informed the most recent ban was lifted last month, after an appeals panel decided in July it was based on outdated evidence of the group's activities, March said.