On 16th June 2022, a man attacked his wife, his brother-in-law, and his brother-in-law’s spouse with a weapon. His wife and his brother-in-law’s spouse died from the attack and his brother-in-law was sent to hospital and is in a coma from excessive bleeding. This happened in Jeonbuk province, South Korea.
What’s so special about this incident, is that this proved that the Korean press tends to intentionally spread inaccurate news when it comes to news related to minor religions.
Delivering this incident, some broadcast centers stated that this incident happened because ‘the perpetrator’s wife went to Shincheonji.’ What’s worse, the Korean Christian media press wrote a column that if the victim hadn’t gone to Shincheonji, she wouldn’t be killed, in a tone that the columnist felt empathy for the perpetrator who killed two women and wounded a man.
The news titles that quoted the perpetrator’s motive of murder (replying “yes” to a leading question of the reporter: “Did you kill your wife because she went to Shincheonji?”), drew the attention of the public.
After that, some media investigated what actually happened for the public’s right to know. The result was surprising: it was just typical domestic violence that ended up murdering the spouse and her family. The couple (the perpetrator and the victim) used to live together while they were in a divorced status on paper because of their financial issue. Before the incident, the conflict between the couple escalated and the wife went to her brother’s place. The husband followed there to ask his wife to reunite. When she refused, the perpetrator swung the prepared weapon at his wife, brother-in-law, and brother-in-law’s spouse. At the funeral, the acquaintances said that the perpetrator had been abusing his wife. He demanded his wife earn money for him, do house chores, and wait on him, while he also wanted to manage all her accounts and control her private life. His son testified that his father used to threaten his mother with a knife back then.
Mrs. Lee (the victim), the perpetrator’s wife, started to go to Shincheonji on 15th Feb. 2020. To avoid COVID-19, Shincheonji only had online services. Her son recently joined Shincheonji, too. A day before the incident (15th June), her son told his father that his mother and he goes to Shincheonji. This might escalate the situation.
Summing up the information the media gathered so far, the incident happened because of domestic violence. Mrs. Lee and her family had hard times because of her husband. She is devoted to her family even if she’s divorced from him on paper. It can be assumed that the situation among her family members went worse after her husband saw the slanderous posts about Shincheonji on the Internet and counseled the ‘conversion pastor’ (Pastor Oh).
It’s clear that the murder wasn’t related to a religious matter because he swung the weapon at the victim’s brother and his wife while they didn’t go to Shincheonji. It’s assumed that the perpetrator attacked them because they weren’t happy with him because of the conflict he started.
The perpetrator was captured, but he didn’t show any guilt for killing his wife.
Korean major broadcast centers issued articles that only state what actually happened (“A Forty-year-old perpetrator who attacked his family with a weapon was captured”), however, CBS NoCut News issued articles emphasizing the victim’s religion (“I was parted with my children because of Shincheonji – Said A Forty-year-old perpetrator Who Killed His Ex-wife and His Brother-in-law’s Spouse”).
CBS NoCut News had been diabolifying Shincheonji as an axis of evil and this recent article about the Jeongeob murder case piqued Shincheonji members’ patience. A million Shincheonji members had gathered for continuous rallies to ask CBS NoCut News for an apology. Joongang Ilbo also quoted the perpetrator that he killed his wife because of the religious conflict, which was a simple reply of the leading question (saying “Yes” to “Did you kill your wife because she went to Shincheonji?”).
The Prosecutor said that the causes of the domestic conflict weren’t simple and the victim was dead, therefore, we’re not sure if we have to believe the perpetrator repeating things that will lighten his sentence. They added, “no murder can be justified no matter what religion the victim believed in. It’s inappropriate to blame a religion for what he had done.” The Prosecutor Investigator said, “the situation doesn’t make any sense if it was a religious problem – If it was about the religion, why would he want to reunite with his ex-wife? Why did he kill two people? His tenancy and cruelty, which led him to chase his wife to his brother-in-law’s place to attack with a knife, weren’t stated in the news. He killed not one, even two people, and blamed his deeds for Shincheonji. The press didn’t doubt and quoted exactly what he said, explaining the case that it’s a stalking crime.” Shincheoji official said, “It’s like the press said the victim of a stalking crime ‘asked for it.’ How could a press be like this? This is horrendous.”
Shincheonji members issued a statement of freedom of religion in the rallies.
“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.”
“If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed?” – Shylock, The Merchant of Venice.
As the Prosecutor said, religion can’t be an excuse to murder someone. It’s a shame that the press in South Korea didn’t check if the ‘opinion’ of the murder was true or not before issuing articles. They must be responsible for what they’re doing.