GUWAHATI: Forget Hindutva, Christians in Northeast are seeing an external danger to their faith, all the way from Korea.
Baptist Christians in Manipur have warned worshippers to be wary of Shincheonji as a lot of youth from the Northeast have fallen for the Christian cult from South Korea, which is led by Lee Man-Hee.
The hill states of Northeast with Christian majority have a huge following of the Protestant American Baptist church. Manipur and Nagaland have a high number of Baptists.
“This is to inform all associations, institutions and churches of Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) to remain informed and vigilant about the dangerous heretical cult group, called Shincheonji, from South Korea. Their leader Lee Man-Hee claims to have access to secret knowledge of scriptures which other church pastors do not know. Moreover, he claims that one can truly know God only by following and listening to the teachings of Shincheonji,” MBC general secretary Rev Dr. Wungnaoting Konghar said.
He said one major concern for them was that the Korean cult was “infiltrating our city churches” and luring young people with false doctrinal Bible study.
“Their teachings create animosity and distrust between church members and local church pastors. Once they are into this group, they spend most of their time inviting people to join Shincheonji group and spend very less time with their families, friends and churches and neglect and quit their studies or work,” Konghar said.
According to him, a good number of young people from Manipur, living in the metros, have fallen prey to the cult’s false and deceptive teachings.
Urging the church organisations to stay alert and take necessary precautions, Konghar said it was imperative they counsel, teach and reform the youth victimized by the group.
This is for the first time that Korea's name has figured as a threat in the religious affairs of people from Northeast. The region, otherwise, has witnessed a growing craze for anything that is Korean, be it music, language or movies. Some towns here have seen Korean language classes and Korean brands like Mumuso Kr. even have showrooms. Korean movies are also very popular in Manipur where the militants imposed a ban on Hindi movies many years ago.
Shincheonji, created in the 1980s, is primarily practised in South Korea. The group has often faced criticism for shallow and academically-weak teachings.