The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, Church of Jesus, New heaven, and new earth are the various names given to Shincheonji, a new offshoot religious movement springing from Christianity’s religion. It originated in South Korea, 1984 and was founded by Lee Man-hee. According to South Korea’s Health Ministry, the religious movement currently has an estimate of 317,320 members.
The fundamental belief of this religious movement is that Lee Man-hee, founder of the movement, is the New Testament’s promised pastor. Furthermore, it is also believed that the Book of Revelation is written in metaphors or parables that the common man cannot comprehend. However, it is believed that the book can be deciphered only by Lee Man-hee. Before being the founder of this religious movement, he was also a member of Olive Tree, which happens to be a controversial group in South Korea.
Beliefs of Shincheonji
The religion of Shincheonji has the following beliefs:-
- This religious movement believes or preaches that the movement members receive salvation during the final judgment, which seems to be the core faith of the religious movement.
- Furthermore, those who are not a member of the group will not receive any forgiveness, and their lives will be destroyed further.
- The group is often described to be a doomsday cult due to its apocalyptic and messianic nature.
- The group’s followers often refer to the leader or founder of the group as Chairman Lee, the chairman, the one who overcomes, the promised pastor, and the advocate.
- The followers believe that Lee is a reincarnation of Jesus because he possesses the returned spirit of Jesus Christ. The Bible, too, is written in hidden manna that Lee can only interpret.
- The group further believes that Lee will use 144,000 adherents that are sealed on the Day of Judgement for the testimony of revealed word to the world that will be used to make up the Multitude in White. They will descend to heaven to enjoy an eternal life there.
The Shincheonji religious movement is often accused of being aggressive because it is believed to employ aggressive methods and deceptive practices. The movement certainly holds a poor reputation in South Korea as opposed to a prestigious one. Ex-members of the group are also known to have media appearances in which they have stated that the group is secretive and harmful and is a cult.
Some ex-members and members of the movement also conceal their identity because they do not want others to know that they are associated with the group not to be harassed and discriminated against. The group, however, has stated that discrimination, violence, harassment is not a part of their movement’s policy. Mainstream denominations of Christianity, nonetheless, regard the movement as heretical. The movement has also led to an eventual loss of followers of Christianity.