On the eve of this Easter, the cult "Shincheonji" from South Korea once again "successfully" launched a new wave of "mission" through online platforms.
Presumably, some Christians have received this or similar information on WeChat: "I have received an invitation to the Asia Federation held on April 9. The theme is War and Peace in the Last Days, based on Matthew 24. I heard that it is a Christian event for tens of thousands of people, and I really want to go. Are you free to join me? You can sign up for a seat. It is said that there will be a big crowd. Seats may not be available if you sign up late. Please pray for this, and God will arrange the time for us. We make plans, and God guides our steps. Faith is to rely on God and entrust ourselves to Him. It is pleasing to God that we set time aside to get close to Him. That said, He will definitely make a way out for us. Do you think this is feasible? (Praying hands)”
After being inactive for two years due to the outbreak of the Korean epidemic, "Shincheonji" is indeed "returning" this time. It still propagates with “a great fanfare” as before.
Two years ago, in February 2020, against the backdrop of the global pandemic, the "Shincheonji" executives in the South Korean headquarters deliberately concealed the whereabouts of their followers to avoid government scrutiny. As a result, a "super-spreading incident" occurred in the Daegu area of South Korea, which in turn led to a vicious epidemic across the country. This emerging religious group, "Shincheonji", was identified as the culprit in detonating the epidemic in South Korea in its public opinion. Shincheonji became denounced and censured by the Korean society. In August of the same year the founder of Shincheonji, Lee Man-hee, was ordered to be detained in Suwon Detention Center by the court for allegedly violating South Korea's "Infectious Disease and Control Act" and embezzling the public funds of the organization. Subsequently, Lee was indicted. Eleven core backbones of the organization were also indicted.
This incident has dealt a great blow to the cult. Although South Korea did not take the opportunity to ban it, its social reputation plummeted.
However, "Shincheonji" made a comeback after two years against expectations, and its action was "astonishing". In the past, they launched the "Bible Study Class" and "Free Theological Training Class". This time the operation was under the banner of "Global Event Forum", with "President Lee Man-hee" as the keynote speaker. It seemed to be of executive level. Moreover, a nondescript organization named "Shincheonji Chinese Council" was created.
Called "War and Peace in the Last Days" with the scripture of Matthew 24, the topic launched this time was indeed very eye-catching. This might be attributed to the heat of the Russian-Ukrainian war. To strike while the iron was hot, "Shincheonji" issued an invitation letter for Easter after the "Global Forum" was "successfully" held on April 9.
People may have noticed that whenever "Shincheonji" is making a big move, messages start to pop up in WeChat groups, sending friend requests in private, getting close to you in a “sweet talk” way, and forwarding you an invitation letter or a link to the "meeting".
This indicates that many Christians' WeChat groups have been infiltrated by "Shincheonji" members. These heretical members sneak into various groups and quietly observe the group activities. When it's time to make a big move, they add you as a friend, get close to you enthusiastically, and send you invitations or links to various resources to get you involved.
"Shincheonji" is still rampant even though it has been exposed and attacked in a variety of ways in recent years. It would stage a "resurrection" and "returning" every time after a dormant period. Especially during the current pandemic when churches are withholding gatherings, it takes advantage to steal sheep and convert people through all kinds of makeovers. It has caused a great amount of harm to the churches in China.
- Translated by June Chen