Category: Abroad

South Korean cult leader gets 15 years in jail for raping followers who thought he was a god

Lee Jae-rock set up the Manmin Central Church in Guro, once a poor area of Seoul, with just 12 followers in 1982. It has now grown to 130,000 members South Korea has proven fertile ground for religious groups with strong, unambiguous ideologies that offered comfort and salvation that appealed strongly during times of deep uncertainty […]

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Corruption in religious organizations

By William Steele I was invited to help at a college and seminary of the Presbyterian Church in Korea. I went on a recent Monday to visit. I do not feel free to be of help to that college. They lack financial transparency. When institutions do not report in detail their audited finances, there is […]

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The biggest megachurch on Earth and South Korea’s ‘crisis of evangelism’

If the building didn’t have a giant cross out front, it could easily be mistaken for a sports arena.  But this is Yoido Full Gospel Church, a Pentecostal congregation belonging to the Korean Assemblies of God — a household name in South Korea. The institution is also known as the largest megachurch in the world, with a […]

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South Korean cult leader jailed 15 years for raping followers

SEOUL (AFP) – A South Korean cult leader was convicted on Thursday (Nov 22) of the multiple rape of eight female followers – some of whom believed he was God – and jailed for 15 years. Pastor Lee Jaerock’s victims were “unable to resist, as they were subject to the accused’s absolute religious authority”, judge […]

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Cho Yong-gi: Founder of scandal-hit South Korean mega-church dies

Cho Yong-gi championed the growth of the church in South Korea, which was largely a Confucian country Reverend Cho Yong-gi, who founded the biggest South Korean church and a string of popular megachurches, died on Tuesday at the age of 85 in Seoul. The pastor, better known as David Yonggi Cho or Paul Yonggi Cho abroad, died at […]

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Father, Son and Holy Mess: Family Succession in Megachurches

Seen from the back of a high balcony, pastor Kim Sam-hwan cuts a small figure. “Amen!” he calls into two microphones suspended on long wires from the ceiling above. “Allelujah!” responds his flock of five thousand. “Allelujah!” he counters. “Amen!” they roar. If Kim appears tiny, it’s only because the church he has built around […]

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Time for changes in Korean churches

Protestant church leaders call for reform of churches, organizations riddled with corruption and infighting Easter Sunday is one of the most sacred Christian holidays. But this year, it became a day for repenting of the infighting and trouble within Protestant churches. South Korea has one of the fastest-growing Protestant populations in the world. Christian missionaries […]

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Cults, cabals and
corruption in South Korea

Every day we seem to learn that Park’s longtime friend, Choi Soon-sil, the daughterof a religious cult leader, has yet another tentacle wrapped around the government. South Korea has been rocked by allegations that the nation is actually run by a shadow government, but its people are riding for a fall by directing their outrage […]

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Cult or church? This Korean sect has thousands of devotees, but ex-believers lost faith and money

By South Korea correspondent Carrington Clarke, Sook-young Lee and Mitch Denman Woolnough in Seoul Posted Sun 2 May 2021 at 12:46amSunday 2 May 2021 at 12:46am, updated Sun 2 May 2021 at 6:37amSunday 2 May 2021 at 6:37am At 24, Kim Eun-kang was pursuing her dream of becoming a traditional Korean music singer. But she gave it all up to compete […]

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Scandals and corruption, Yoido mega-church pastor sentenced

The congregation is one of the richest and best-known of the South Korean capital. Its leader, David Yonggi Cho, found guilty of fraud to the tune of 9 million Euros. His son, former chairman of the Yeongsan Christian Cultural Center, sentenced to 3 years in prison. Seoul ( AsiaNews) – After a lengthy investigation and […]

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