University students report approaches from cult group: Campus workers

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A cult group has been targeting university students across Australia, spreading teachings that diverge from mainstream Christianity.

Campus ministry workers report that Shincheonji Church of Jesus has been actively recruiting on university campuses, approaching people to bring them into the cult.

Workers fear the cult will draw people away from Christianity. SCJ believe salvation is exclusive to members and is only obtained through good works.

St Jude’s Carlton UniChurch assistant minister Sam Oldland said SCJ recruiters tried to infiltrate the church by attending services and inviting people to their Bible study groups.

Several members of UniChurch found freedom from SCJ teaching and have shared their testimonies of leaving the cult to help others who might still be involved with the group.

Mr Oldland said the SCJ recruiters visiting the church never revealed where they were from but ex-SCJ members in his congregation had identified them.

He said SCJ drew people away from the true gospel, and many who left the cult abandoned Christianity entirely.

University of Melbourne Christian Union worker Bryn Weightman said many students he worked with had been approached by the cult.

He said SCJ recruiters used casual conversation to determine if someone was a Christian then invited them to meet the recruiter’s mentor.

Many of the students were approached at Melbourne Central Station in the CBD or at South Lawn at the university, but quickly realised something was strange.

One student was approached by a stranger on a similar train line to them and had a lengthy conversation about various biblical topics.

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