“In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal” tells about “Korean cults” and uncovers Jung Myung Seok’s evil deeds. (Picture / subtitle from Netflix)
The Netflix documentary “In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal” mainly speaks about “Korean cults” and introduces the deeds of 4 cult leaders. It sparked discussions as soon as it was released. Among them, there is a discussion that the new religious group founded by Jung Myung Seok (정명석), the Christian Gospel Mission, also known as Providence, has been sexually assaulting female believers. It is alleged that the victims are spread across many places, including Taiwan. In this regard, the Christian Gospel Mission Taiwan Providence Church issued a 4-point statement on the evening of today (8th), emphasizing that the female members of the Christian Gospel Mission have not been violated or selected to bathe together as reported by the media.
Taiwan’s Providence Church put forward a 4-point statement, refuting that the leader Jung Myung Seok had sexually assaulted Taiwanese women. (Picture / Recapitulated from Jung Myung Seok – Our Life Tutor Facebook)
【Full Statement of the Christian Gospel Mission – Taiwan】
The Christian Gospel Mission – Taiwan began to devote itself to the local development of Taiwan in 2009. It has worked hard to study, try and practice in the fields of sports, culture, art, and public welfare. However, it has become the focus of public opinion because of Netflix and media reports. Violence is an act of harm and destruction. It not only harms individuals, but also harms the harmony and stability of the entire society. It is really unbearable to see church members face threats of violent words and bear many attacks because of reports. We are against any form of violence!
In response to recent media reports, the Christian Gospel Mission made the following statement:
1. The female church members of the Christian Gospel Mission did not report being abused or choosing to bathe together in the media. When Next Magazine published the report in 2001, when a hundred female college students were victimized at National Chengchi University, and in 2005, when Apple Daily published a report on the sexual assault of thousands of people, there were no such incidents, no substantive evidence and no victim testimonies presented. “Nearly 100 people were victimized” and “1,000 people were sexually assaulted” are the speculations of Next Magazine and Apple Daily. The School Safety Center of the Ministry of Education, in accordance with its responsibilities, stated in the letter No. 0940180806 dated January 11, 1995, that on October 15, 1994, the School Safety Center affiliated with high school vocational schools and tertiary institutions was asked to know whether any related incidents occurred on campus. So far, no school has reported any incident of victimization of students as described by the media.
2. Mr. Jung Myung Seok, the founder of the Christian Gospel Mission, was tried in South Korea courts in 2009. Due to disputes over the existence of witnesses and physical evidence, the Korean Civil Affairs Monthly published one article, “Jung Myeong Seok’s Cross: Why and for Whom?” (Article in Chinese)
I hope everyone can examine whether the trial of the case in 2009 is really uncontroversial. In the past 14 years, the Christian Gospel Mission has worked hard to show our accurate selves and our church life, and we want more people to know us not just through the claims in the media. However, because of the case in South Korea, we are constantly being questioned.
3. I hope that the media can respect the right of privacy and the freedom of religious belief of the faithful. Because the media went to the church without permission to take pictures and disturb the personal life of the faithful, it has seriously affected the rights and interests of the faithful. I hope that the public can give the faithful space with respect. This includes the recent concert held by the “Peace Symphony Orchestra and Choir” in order to promote social care, so that people who are alienated from society and themselves due to technology advances can feel the mood conveyed by the creator through music. Instead, the people involved in this choir are being stigmatized and threatened with violent attacks. I hope that the general public will not blindly follow such claims and arbitrarily forward speculative words to encourage the spread of violence.
4. The Christian Gospel Mission sincerely apologizes to the scholars and social figures who were implicated by this media report. I also thank scholars and social leaders for giving advice in academic exchange activities. I hope that everyone can respect academic exchanges and legitimate public communication, and not use public opinion to influence the lives of scholars and social leaders.
The Christian Gospel Mission is a legal religious organization deeply rooted in Taiwan. We hope that social rumors will subside and end, and we will continue to work hard for Taiwan. May God bless this beautiful island.