Even after experiencing national-level persecution in South Korea for three years, Shincheonji held a graduation ceremony after 3 years since the COVID-19 pandemic started. All Shincheonji churches had been duly following the official Shincheonji church’s guidelines to keep attending online services only. In this situation, don’t be surprised, Shincheonji discharged 106,186 graduates in a year. This is the biggest number of graduates among the Christian seminaries in the world. About 500 former and current pastors graduated on that day. To prevent safety accidents, the regional government cooperated with Shincheonji since there were so many people gathered in one place. Safety was the top priority of the event.
Shincheonji church officials said that they deployed 14,000 safety guards to control the crowds to prevent safety accidents and guided the participants to enter and exit for a total of four hours to keep the entrance gates from crowding. “In case of accidents happen, 180 medical staff and four ambulances were on standby. All safety guards were trained in emergency rescue training and all graduates watched a video explaining how to perform an emergency rescue. We would like you to know that we prepared the ceremony focused on safety.”
This year, in Class 113 graduates, the portion of pastors drastically increased. A total of 522 pastors graduated in 2022. Shincheonji’s online theology classes due to the pandemic played an important role in this result. The environment that allows pastors and seminary students to attend Shincheonji theology classes was made because of the pandemic.
A graduate representative of South Korea, Heo Jeong wuk is a pastor who had been preaching for twenty years. He said, “The only thing I learned in the seminary was traditional theology. I didn’t know much about Revelation. I had been teaching only easy words to my congregation members, taking away difficult verses. Now I repent because I was a sinner who added and took away God’s word. I laid down everything I had and came forward to the truth. I’m graduating after learning the true theology, which leads people to heaven, not man’s teaching. I thank God for giving me a chance to live.” He shared his impressions.
An overseas center graduate representative, D. Jackson is also a pastor in India. Experiencing Shincheonji online Bible class in last October, he signed a MOU with Shincheonji and even changed his theology school name as “Hepto Zion Christian Mission Center.” Including two head pastors of churches, 294 members of churches from his denomination completed all courses of Shincheonji Zion Christian Mission Center and graduated as Class 113.
It is astonishing that Shincheonji held 100,000 graduation ceremonies twice. The first was before the COVID-19 pandemic (2019), then, this year. What’s more amazing, no single person got injured after the huge gathering of about 80,000 participants in one day at the same place. All members and graduates followed the guides of the safety guards in such a good manner! I’m looking forward to Shincheonji’s even more amazing traits in the future.