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The Rev. Sun Myung Moon hospitalized with pneumonia

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Unification Church on Thursday asked followers around the world to pray and fast for its founder, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who was unconscious in a Seoul hospital's intensive-care unit.

Chances of Moon surviving the pneumonia he is being treated for in the next couple of days are "50-50," the church said on its website, citing an unnamed doctor caring for the 92-year-old.

Moon's church has gained fame around the world since he founded it in Seoul in 1954. The church also owns a multibillion dollar religious and business empire that includes The Washington Times newspaper and the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan.

On Thursday, the church called for 40 days of prayer and a three-day fast aimed at inspiring Moon's recovery. Moon's youngest son, Hyung Jin Moon, wrote in a separate message that Moon's family is by his bedside. Moon was hospitalized for complications that arose from an "untimely" cold and pneumonia, the son said.

The Rev. Joshua Cotter, vice president of the Unification Church USA, said Wednesday that the church founder entered the hospital on Aug. 13 and was in critical condition.

Moon's last major public appearance came last month when he took part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Peace Cup soccer tournament sponsored by his church in South Korea.

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AP writer Ben Nuckols in Washington contributed to this story.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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