Shincheonji Congregants’ Statement of Freedom of Religion

During the COVID19 pandemic, Shincheonji was greatly persecuted especially in South Korea. As a result, three Shincheonji members were killed in Korea during the pandemic (five victims since 2009. Do you remember we commemorated the late Gu who was killed in 2019?). Even though Korean Constitutional Law states freedom of religion, somehow Shincheonji was the exception to that human right.

The most recent victim was murdered by her ex-husband for her faith on June 16, 2022. May she rest in peace. What’s worse, the Korean Christian media press reported this incident scornfully stating, “if she hadn’t gone to Shincheonji, she wouldn’t be killed.”

As same as this case, Shincheonji members were killed after they refused to ‘converse’ their religion from ‘Shincheonji to other orthodox denominations.’ In the background, the Korean Christian media is to be blamed. They had been a mouthpiece of the ‘orthodox’ Christian denominations and spread rumors about Shincheonji through broadcasting. This frightened Korean Christians and made them wary of Shincheonji.

Some Korean pastors joined the march to make money out of the ‘coercive conversion program.’ Using the groundless fear of the ‘orthodox’ Christians, they deceived the families of Shincheonji members saying that they should ‘fix’ the members and bring them back to the ‘orthodox’ denomination. It’s called the ‘counsel program’ as if it’s legal, however, it’s a completely illegal and immoral program. Here’s how they do it: they kidnap a Shincheonji member, lock them in a room, and won’t let them out until they admit the Presbyterian doctrines. Even a few years ago, this process involved more violence like beating and insulting the member until they sign the agreement saying that they agree to join this program, which is not valid because it was forcedly signed.

Because the Christian media and pastors in Korea had scared people, describing Shincheonji as a horrendous criminal group, the coercive conversion program – the program to forcedly give up one’s faith – was actively done. Freedom of religion in the Korean Constitutional Law was trodden six feet under.

Seeing all these, Shicheonji congregants posted a statement about the recent tragedy.

“First of all, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the deceased (Shincheonji Church of Jesus, congregant of Thomas tribe), who was suddenly killed by this incident, and to their families who are in great shock and sorrow. Shincheonji Church of Jesus sincerely prays that the harm inflicted on the lives of others, for whatever reason, is eradicated.

All citizens of Korea have the right to freedom of religion, state religion is not approved, and religion and politics must be separate. Unfortunately, religious freedom is being suppressed in Korea, religious people are taking advantage of politics and laws, and even religious freedom is denied with acts of murder committed by religious people.

On June 16, 2022 a woman was murdered by her ex-husband for her faith at Shincheonji Church of Jesus. It is already the fifth death of a Shincheonji Church of Jesus congregant resulting from pressure on one’s faith. Is it okay to be killed for being a member of Shincheonji Church of Jesus?

Who conceived of such a thing?

This is because pastors of the ‘Heretical Counseling Center’ belonging to the Established Church are making money out of the forced conversion business and target Shincheonji Church of JEsus.

It is also because of Christian media, such as CBS (including NoCut News), have become their mouthpiece and spread slander about Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Murder is an act of the devil that is unacceptable under any and all circumstances.

The Christian Church, like Calvin who was the founder of the Presbyterian Church, designated Shincheonji Church of Jesus a heresy because it does not follow their doctrine, and the pastors of forced conversion, like Calvin, also committed acts that violate human rights. This is causing family deaths.

The religious broadcaster CBS is the mouthpiece of the established denominations and promotes forced conversion. The false and distorted reports of CBS lead to murders committed against congregants of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and promotes forced conversion that violates human rights.

Religious media in Korea is reporting the murders on Shincheonji Church of Jesus by pushing the question, “Did you murder your ex-wife because she had fallen into Shincheonji?”

Reporting in this way is yet another attack on the victim and an accusation against Shincheonji. It is sin against God and man. The government must recognize the right to freedom of religion, prohibit forced conversion, and make specific legislation to punish those who carry out forced conversion.

The government itself must no longer be controlled by people of religion, but stand on the side of the people, and protect and safeguard their basic rights.

As believers, we believe that Jesus saved humanity with his noble blood 2,000 years ago. For that reason, the congregants of Shincheonji Church of Jesus recently carried out a life-giving act, similar to the shedding of the precious blood. This means our saints value life. Murder is a sin and the devil. Nothing can deny it.

The government should shut down the heretical counseling centers that destroy families and even call for murder, punish pastors who practice forced conversion for money, and condemn CBS for promoting forced conversion and dividing religion into two. In addition, the government should enact a law that prohibits forced conversion and eradicate it. Since we are fervently making this appeal to prevent another victim, the government that respects human rights must listen to this petition.”

In any case, murder can’t be justified and shouldn’t be supported or encouraged. May the victim rest in peace. I hope freedom of religion in Korea is actually respected in real life.

One thought on “Shincheonji Congregants’ Statement of Freedom of Religion

  1. Thank you for this informative read. Five members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus have now been murdered by forced conversion pastors since 2006. Why is the government silent? Why does mainstream media do nothing? Why the complicity?

    Forced conversion is an amoral, barbaric practice that is rife in 21st century South Korea, with upwards of 1500 cases yearly that predominantly targets members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus. These ‘conversion pastors’ carry out their work with the full support of the mainstream Korean churches, destroying lives for financial profit, and have their deeds masked by their media mouthpiece, CBS, who knowingly spread lies about Shincheonji Church of Jesus and grossly distort the general population’s perception of Shincheonji. When will the government hold conversion pastors accountable for their actions and ban forced conversion?

    Heaven and earth are watching. I pray with a broken heart for all families whose lives are being ripped apart because of the ongoing complicity of state and religion in Korea.

    Like

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