Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

Eunhyero Church’s Shin Ok-ju Arrested: Suspected of Confining and Assaulting Members in Fiji

2018-07-31 15:04

Ms. Shin Ok-ju (photo, a Youtube capture) of Eunhyero Church in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do, has been arrested. She is suspected of having subjected church members to confinement and group violence when they attempted to leave Fiji in the South Pacific, where they live together.

The international crime investigation unit of the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency announced on July 29 that it had arrested Shin and three other leaders of the group on the 29th, on charges including “special damage.”

Shin opened “Paul's Academy,” the forerunner of Eunhyero Church, in August 2009, and began revealing her heretical character. “The whole Bible is a recording of glossolalia, and the revelations of God’s will are interpretations of glossolalia,” she has said, while stressing glossolalia interpretations often utilized by Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. With her insistence that Jesus was “a part of Creation,” her refutation of the theory of physical immortality, and her arbitrary explanations of the Bible, Shin and her group have been pinpointed by major Korean church denominations as heretical.

Eunhyero Church grew rapidly as a pseudo religion with hundreds of believers, but problems arose among its members living in a community, including incidents of violent language and behavior. Finally Ms. Shin, invoking an end-times scenario, said, “If we are going to avoid tribulation, we must go to Fiji in the South Pacific to take refuge,” and thus 400 some believers traveled together to Fiji and started group life there.

In the process, many members left home, got divorced, or gave up jobs, studies or child-rearing. Finding it hard to endure, 30 some persons directly affected by the situation formed the Eunhyero Church Victims Countermeasures Committee. The seceders and victimized families called for an investigation, noting that Eunhyero Church has been behaving like a typical pseudo religious group through such practices as mob assault, titled “threshing floor,” against believers who have tried to leave Fiji.

“The problem is growing, with five or six members having escaped from Fiji so far, and I am aware that the Foreign Ministry has entrusted the National Police Agency with the investigation,” said a victim surnamed Jo, declaring, “This is not the inner problem of a religion; it is an anti-human, fraudulent pilgrimage by a fraudulent group.”

“The families are still living in Fiji. They think Ms. Shin will be released sooner or later, and they don’t take her arrest seriously,” Jo said. “With more than 400 citizens of the Republic of Korea being confined in Fiji, subjected to assault, and their labor exploited, this is not an occasion when the government can treat the situation lightly.”

Kukmin Daily tried to contact Eunhyero Church to hear its counter arguments, but was unable to make connection.

Reporter Paek Sang-hyun (100sh@kmib.co.kr), with Marion Kim (marionkkim@icloud.com)

Original Article in Korean:
[이슈분석] 과천 은혜로교회 신옥주씨 구속… 피지서 400여명과 집단생활 신도들 출국 막고 집단 폭행: 전형적인 사이비 특성

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