Evangelicals in Switzerland concerned about cult “aggressively” proselytising among young Christians

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Shincheonji, a religious movement born in South Korea, has been active in Europe for around a decade, causing confusion among young people interested in the Christian faith, according to church leaders in several countries.

In Switzerland, the Evangelical Alliance (SEA-RES) says the cult, as they define it, has been active since 2016 and is “causing growing concern, particularly among young Christians”.

The evangelical body has spoken out against the “sophisticated methods used by the sect to aggressively recruit new members”. The presence of the group is still limited, with around 250 members in the region of Zurich, and smaller communities in other cities. But the Swiss Evangelical Alliance believes the number of people contacted by the Shincheonji “is much higher since many leave the movement” before they become established members.

In Korean, “Shincheonji” means “new heaven and new earth”. The group has alternatively been called ‘religion of the New Revelation’, and they target specifically people aged between 18 and 25 who have some kind of interest in the Bible.

“They are approached mainly via social media and in public spaces, for example near churches”, says the SEA-RES. When introducing themselves, Shincheonji members do normally not mention the name of their religious movement. They invite many to their Bible courses, and during these apparently inoffensive activities and “intensive support and supervision” of people is offered while “contact with the outside world is increasingly limited”. The “sheer time commitment” required for training and attending religious services “makes it impossible to continue the old social life”, the evangelical body says.

Content retrieved from: https://evangelicalfocus.com/europe/26019/evangelicals-in-switzerland-concerned-about-shincheonji-cult-aggressively-proselytising-among-young-christians.

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