Korean Cult Actively Recruiting in the U.S., Churches Warn

The Church of England Has Warned Against SCJ

In 2016, the Church of England issued an alert to almost 500 London parishes about infiltration by Parachristo, a group associated with SCJ. Parachristo registered with the U.K.’s Charity Commission as a religious organization operating for the good of “mankind.” But the Church of England warned pastors and congregations that the group is actually a cult promoting “control and deception.”

The Rev. John Peters says Parachristo members visit other churches to make friends and then invite those new friends to Bible studies. “A number of members of London churches have been pulled into this cult, and gradually they are encouraged to cut all ties with friends and family,” he says.

Reporters who sought answers about Parachristo were directed to an attorney, who said, “Our client does not advocate or encourage deception, secrets or lies. This is one of the most common misunderstandings about our client.”

When asked if Parachristo was a cult, the lawyer said, “The mission of Parachristo is to spread the word of God.” Regarding the use of deception and family breakups, the lawyer said, “Members’ personal choices are personal to them.”

SCJ Fights Back When Challenged

When critics sound the alarm, SCJ pushes back hard. A frequent target is the Christian Council of Korea (CCK), which SCJ accuses of being a “camouflage Christian council founded around the Presbyterian Church of Calvin, who was the creator of forced-conversion program and a murderer.” Under the headline “Corrupt Korea Christianity must [be] born again,” an SCJ blog post states that CCK “must be driven out from Korea since they are anti-national, anti-social, anti-religious, and anti-peaceful.”

SCJ has called for the disbanding of the CCK, as well as the country’s Christian Broadcasting System. Those organizations, according to a petition circulated by SCJ members, “have no God and no truth, but only dance wildly to money and curses.”

SCJ claims its recent growth is in “stark contrast” to declining numbers experienced by CCK. The SCJ website says CCK membership has “dwindled” from 12 million to 1.8 million, while SCJ “continues to grow beautifully, as promised in Revelation 22:2.” More than 23,000 people joined the group in 2017, the site claims, resulting in “more than 200,000 congregation members across 69 churches in Korea and 33 churches overseas.”

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Stephanie Martin
Stephanie Martin, a freelance journalist, has worked in Christian publishing for 26 years. She’s active at her church in Lakewood, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and two teenage daughters.