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This apocalyptic Korean Christian group goes by various names. Experts state it is simply a cult.

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Pay attention to the storyline.

Lee Man-hee may be the creator of Shinchonji, an apocalyptic Christian team from Southern Korea which has drawn supporters in several countries, such as the US. Lee identifies himself as “the promised pastor,” mentioned in the Bible. Their critics say that Lee is peddling Christian heresy.

The conclusion times are near. Plus the believers of Shinchonji are set.

They see by themselves given that embodiment of this one true Christianity, poised for salvation whenever moment of last judgment comes. Everybody else are going to be rejected forgiveness and destroyed, in line with the group’s doctrine.

The title Shinchonji arises from the written Book of Revelation. It translates from Korean as “new earth and heaven.” The group’s official name is Shinchonji, Church of Jesus, the Temple for the Tabernacle associated with the Testimony.

Shinchonji ended up being created in 1984 now claims to possess attracted about 200,000 adherents in its house nation of Southern Korea, along side lots and lots of supporters in at the very least two dozen other nations.

They will tell you it’s a cult if you ask most Korean Christians about Shinchonji, however.

The people of Shinchonji aren’t dissuaded by this particular fact. They have a tendency to react to such criticism by pointing down that Jesus himself, together with his disciples and their very very early followers, had been additionally persecuted with their thinking.

A family that is broken

One of the primary criticisms of Shinchonji you are going to hear is it breaks up families. That is a secretive and manipulative spiritual team, experts state, which is finally accountable for tearing aside hundreds, possibly thousands, of families in Southern Korea.

Kang Bo-reum understands exactly about that.

This woman is a 25-year-old graduate pupil in Seoul. She spent my youth Catholic. Her dad passed away whenever she had been young. Kang states she utilized to attend church every Sunday along with her mother and more youthful sibling.

Then belated final year, Kang claims she discovered that her mom had a key life.

“My sibling explained which our mom thought in Shinchonji for a significant time that is long” Kang says. And also the lie continued for 3 or 4 years, she claims.

Kang claims she didn’t understand much about Shinchonji in the beginning, so she did a bit of research concerning the group and decided that the church, “was perhaps perhaps maybe not a proper faith.” If her mom had chose to change to various other church, state Methodist or Presbyterian, Kang says that will n’t have been a deal that is big.

But Kang claims her mother ended up being getting increasingly consumed together with her involvement with Shinchonji, and investing less and less time with either of her daughters. Sooner or later, Kang confronted her mother, and proposed the basic concept of family members guidance.

“But she declined everything,” Kang says.

Early this 12 months, Kang and her cousin relocated out of their mom’s household. Kang states she does not actually talk to her mom frequently today. “Shinchonji has grown to become her very existence,” she claims.

Kang’s mother initially decided to do a job interview beside me, stating that the separation from her daughters have been difficult and painful. Nevertheless the day that is following she cancelled a fully planned conference and stated she would not be able to perform the meeting.

When anyone first join Bible research classes made available from Shinchonji, they’re not told in regards to the affiliation with all the controversial group that is religious. This Bible research center in downtown Seoul, as an example, doesn’t advertise it self to be section of Shinchonji.

Bible research with an intention

The trail to being user regarding the church of Shinchonji often starts in a class.

By having a smile that is wide Lee Mi-son welcomes us to a Bible research center in a little business building in downtown Seoul. Lee could be the manager of training right right here.

In just one of the classrooms, 40 or more students sit behind desks and respond to questions that are rapid-fire the scriptures from their instructor, whom writes records in the chalkboard in advance.

a female with vivid red lipstick in the rear of the class sits in the front of the microphone and encourages the course every 15 moments or more to react in unison having a robust, “Amen! for the exercise”

Regarding the wall surface outside, there clearly was an indication utilizing the title for the research center. However it doesn’t through the title Shinchonji. And that’s typical.

Believers say they have to maintain the places of these group’s tasks secret, since they face therefore much persecution, particularly off their Christians. Some churches in Southern Korea, in reality, post indications that state something into the effect, “No Shinchonji.”

Lee, the manager associated with Bible study center we visited, claims she’s been a known person in Shinchonji since 1999.

“We offer an extremely course that is deep of in to the Bible,” she says. “This differs from the others than many other churches.”

“The pupils wish to started to class {a a week, but we restrict it to five,” lee says.

“Shinchonji members are extremely effective in life,” Lee adds. After which, without getting expected about this particularly, she states that some people of Shinchonji experienced dilemmas keeping relationships using their families and checking up on their professions. But she claims such instances are the exclusion.

Throughout my trip to the analysis center, a new Korean guy in a coat and spectacles points an electronic digital digital camera I do interviews and observe the scene at me as. Whenever I state their filming is making me uncomfortable, he sets the digital camera down for a couple moments. Then, he dates back to filming me.

Users of Shinchonji must finish at the least 6 months of rigorous study that is bible before they’ve been permitted to go to one of several team’s big worship services. This location could be the center that is main solutions in Seoul, as well as its location just isn’t publicized.

The slim course

On a sunny weekday morning in April, regarding the borders of Seoul, about 5,000 Shinchonji parishioners are collected during the group’s main house of worship in an enormous converted space that is commercial. Almost all of those in attendance are females.

Many people are dressed exactly the same. They wear white tops, dark jeans plus an identification badge around their necks. They’ve been seated in neat rows on the ground playing a sermon in regards to the hazards of false prophets.

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