CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Full Text of the Seoul Metropolitan Government's Briefing on Cancellation of Shincheonji Corporation

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided that the division corporation related to Shincheonji, which had been registered in the Seoul Metropolitan Government under the name of "the New Heaven and New Earth, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony" violated the terms of permission and thus revoked the permission for establishment today (June 26) according to Article 38 of the Civil Law. The government notified Shincheonji of the hearing regarding the cancellation of the establishment permit, but was absent and did not submit any prima facie shreds of evidence. The government has completed all the necessary procedures for cancellation. The following are the reasons why the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to cancel the company's permission to establish.

First of all, Shincheonji didn't abide by many of the laws and regulations. Any violation of these procedures and requirements alone shall result in the cancellation of the establishment permit. However, there is also a separate substantive reason why this entity should be canceled in essence.

First, the New Heaven and New Earth, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony" and Shincheonji, Church of Jesus are essentially the same organizations. The corporation has a representative of Lee Man-hee, and the purposes and businesses of the corporation stipulated in the articles of association are essentially the same as those of Shincheonji.

Second, Shincheonji seriously violated the lives and safety of the people. Shincheonji has disrupted government quarantine activities both structurally and nationally, and their concealment of fact resulted in the spread of COVID-19. As of March 26th, out of 9,241 confirmed people in Korea, more than 5,000 confirmed people were related to Sincheonji. That's over 55 percent of the total. Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province account for about 70% of the total. If president Lee Man-hee had issued guidelines earlier and actively cooperated with the quarantine, it would have prevented the rapid spread of the spread of COVID-19.

However, the Shincheonji leadership, including president Lee Man-hee, said that they would cooperate actively with the government's quarantine activities and investigations, but in reality, they submitted the list of believers and facilities as belated and false, concealed, and caused major confusion in quarantine activities. 

In addition, the church issued orders to interrupt the quarantine, such as not to answer any calls from officials conducting epidemiological investigations or to provide false information, such as to hide the fact that they were members of Shincheonji. Such acts have seriously damaged the public interest as they have hindered rapid quarantine and preventive activities to protect the lives of the people.

Third, Shincheonji is an anti-social organization that is beyond religious freedom. First of all, Sincheonji devises a stratagem or deceive with camouflage to recruit people. It has a very clever and planned evangelizing system. After taking the approach of studying the Bible or engaging in cultural and artistic hobbies, they begin intensive lecture for six to seven months of thorough brainwashing people without realizing that is doctrine of Shinchenji. After that, people who completed the six month course of training will be accepted as fomal Shinchenji member. 

In the process, illegal cases were also confirmed, such as the unauthorized use of the names or marks of other sects familiar to the public, to target citizens who do not know the true nature of Sincheonji. There was even a time that they gathered young people by deceiving them it was supported by Seoul City Hall in September 2019. In some cases, the victim reported the incident to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. We have also found that the survey was conducted using the names of media companies and universities without permission.

Seoul City has secured important evidence regarding the camouflage of Sincheonji. During the administrative investigation, the government secured a number of documents that proved the existence of the so-called harvester, known by the media. According to the document, the congregation, called the Special Forces, regularly reported their activities to the superiors to deprive members from other churches and temples.

Other documents also detail the names of the special forces, the churches, and temples they were involved in, and who they met to exchange and disseminate. There are large churches, pioneering churches, and even Buddhist sects. In addition, Lee Man-hee's special directive, dated January 27, emphasized the goal of encouraging Special Forces activities and even conquering other denominations. This is what happened when the entire nation was fighting with COVID-19.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has been doing its best to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which is based on the list of believers in Sincheonji, which it has secured. However, it was not clear how often these special forces had contact with other churches or worshippers of temples during the Seoul Metropolitan Government's quarantine process. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has identified only a handful of special forces. But based on this document, it is clear that Sincheonji has been doing something that involves infiltrating various religious facilities nationwide, systematically, and routinely, such as other churches and temples to spread their ideas or to take out their believers.

The problem is that the other religions and churches they came into contact with Sincheonji, were at great risk of infection and were exposed to it. Therefore, the list of special forces and other religious groups they contacted was very important for quarantine purposes and necessary information. The Seoul Metropolitan Government requested the list, but they never submitted it. The quarantine authorities strongly urge Shinchonji to submit their names as soon as possible. The prosecution also strongly asks for information on them as soon as possible through search and seizure.

In addition, the Sincheonji used young people with little experience in society as a target of intense evangelism, trampling on their freedom and human rights and extorting property. At first, Sincheonji approached the captors and gave them consideration and kindness, but after a certain period of time, kindness disappeared and used their state of mind that they could be a loner to make them become believers with virtually no free will.

It is also well known through the victim's accounts that the family members who oppose attending the Sincheonji have developed conflicts and collapsed. This act of missionary work by Sincheonji not only violates the constitutional order and violates personal basic rights, but also clearly contradicts the laws and regulations. The judiciary has also recognized the illegality of the Sincheonji. On January 14, 2010, Seo San Ji-won of the Daejeon District Court ruled that the process of intense evangelism work in Sincheonji was illegal.

We are certainly aware of this through the COVID-19 incident. Sincheonji is a religion that consecrates people and drives not to proudly state it's identity, an abnormal religion that rationalizes even lies if ordered by Lee Man-hee, a religion that views other religions as objects of destruction and conquest and deprives their believers, and a religion that does not care about the life, health and safety of others and neighbors, but only the expansion of their own groups.

Nevertheless, Shincheonji yesterday did not apologize or repent for its wrongdoings to the people that it would take legal action if the City Hall cancels the corporation. The Sincheonji Church, which has interfered with Coronavirus quarantine activities and caused massive damage due to anti-social behavior, deserves to be canceled just for its actions that hurt the public interest. In addition, the corporation was unable to provide any business results, and further facts were confirmed that the company violated the terms of the permission at the time of its establishment. Therefore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will cancel the permission to establish the corporation as of today. Sincheonji Corporation should immediately go into liquidation and dissolve the corporation.

In addition, it has been confirmed that HWPL, another corporation of Sincheonji, has been engaged in illegal missionary activities in Sincheonji, not for the purpose of international exchange. The government also informed Sincheonji that they have entered the legal process for the cancellation of the corporation. In the future, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will continue to hold Sincheonji responsible for the serious threat and harm to the safety of citizens, life and public interest through all means, including the claim of the right to the initiative.

This is by no means an infringement of religious freedom. Rather, the majority of the great religions and churches have religious freedom and order of faith. Above all, it is to clarify the principle and common sense that freedom of religion is not above the people's right to life. The above measures also prove the reason for the existence of the state and government.

 

 

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