To all the members of Shinchonji Church of Jesus around the world and to all the souls of the martyrs! Let us appeal to God regarding the false charges leveled against us. MBC PD Note broadcast lies about Shinchonji Church of Jesus.
MBC PD Note broadcast their false program twice: once on May 8, 2007 and again on December 25, 2007. Their show, which was entitled “Shinchonji’s suspicious mysteries,” concluded that Shinchonji is a cult. They attempted to sabotage Shinchonji, which is God’s kingdom of righteousness, by broadcasting false information.
When MBC PD Note interviewed us, we recorded the interviews and kept our own copies. MBC’s broadcast, however, presented a distorted version of reality. In addition to MBC, there are also conversion education pastors blaming us for causing people to run away from their families. They claim that we have confined and assaulted people. The truth is, however, that those were the actions of the conversion educators themselves. We, in Shinchonji, send official statements to our members once or twice per year discouraging them from running away from their families, getting divorced, dropping out of school, or quitting their jobs. We have obeyed these commands ourselves and are speaking out regarding absolute righteousness and fairness.
To reveal how MBC PD Note has distorted the truth, we are even willing to go around and show every Korean household the true footage we took at the same time. We will show both the true and false versions of the footage side by side so people can compare them. Even if the whole world continues to believe the lies of MBC PD Note, lies are still lies. Lies are not truth, and the PD Note programs are lies.
The following is an account of how the current situation began. One former member of Shinchonji was expelled from among us after he betrayed us and committed some serious sins. After leaving Shinchonji, that person united with the conversion education pastors. Together they began to give MBC false information in an effort to tear Shinchonji apart and convert our congregation members to their own churches. Without verifying the authenticity of that information, MBC PD Note immediately broadcast it to the entire nation.
As soon as the false programs were aired, several Christian and social media organizations scrambled to interview people from Shinchonji to verify the details of MBC’s report. Ultimately, those media organizations reported several times that the MBC PD Note broadcast was full of lies. Even the police and prosecutors investigated Shinchonji and never found anything suspicious. In spite of these reports, none of the people responsible for MBC PD Note nor those who gave false information have repented. They continue to resist correcting their programs on air. Although Shinchonji has strength, we would like to resolve this problem justly through the courts, rather than resolving it by force.
One of the most controversial scenes in the MBC PD Note broadcast showed a trip by some Shinchonji members to a park. Shinchonji began at the current location of Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon, South Korea. The Shinchonji Cultural Department went to that park to record some footage of the cherry blossoms. Should that be a problem? Is it a sin? Why would the park be there if visiting it were a sin? Are all the people who visit the park lambasted for their crimes? In fact, the person who suggested that we record some footage of the cherry blossoms was one of the betrayers who fed false information to MBC. She was very busy encouraging her fellow office workers to pose for the sake of the video footage. No one really thought anything of her going to the park and following her suggestions.
Although the Republic of Korea guarantees the freedom of religion, MBC PD Note broadcast their show about us as if we are urging people to run away from their families. Their report, however, was decidedly false. A few of the many Shinchonji congregation members have been assaulted and confined by their own parents because of their parents’ misunderstandings regarding Shinchonji. Some of these people have indeed left their homes simply because they could no longer bear being assaulted by their own families. If it was wrong for them to leave their homes, should we consider all those who have ever left their homes to enter a monastery or a nunnery as runaways? What about people who left their homes to enter a Buddhist temple to follow Siddhartha? Did they runaway from their homes too? Please answer us, judges and prosecutors! Why do you call this sort of behavior “running away” only when it involves the members of Shinchonji?
If the truth be told, the conversion education pastors provoked the abusive behavior from the parents of Shinchonji’s young adults that forced them to leave home. Those pastors misled the parents into thinking that their children were being held prisoner in hell. This is how conversion pastors have incited parents to force their own children into conversion education. The pastors have induced parents to confine their children at home, to assault them, to force their children to drop out of school, and to quit their jobs. They even encourage parents to send their children to mental institutes if the children refuse to give up their faith and obey. This is why some young adults were forced to run away from their homes. The conversion education pastors are responsible for sabotaging families and for creating hostility between children and their parents.
To the judges overseeing this case! To whom else should we appeal these false charges against us if you do not see this case clearly and exonerate us? We are confident in your ability to reveal the truth. We will not be able to thank you enough if your decision leads to the correction of these lies on the air. We are so angry and frustrated by these lies that we are about to explode. It is as if some thieves who stole something from a house have somehow placed the blame on the owner of the house himself, saying the owner stole it.
One man left a place of abomination and falsehood to join Shinchonji. Later, however, he was expelled from Shinchonji because he sinned out of his own greed and lust for power. Now, he has united with the conversion education pastors in an effort to destroy Shinchonji, which is practicing righteousness and fairness according to God’s will. There is no doubt that his sins will prove to be a heavy burden on him. This person, along with the conversion education pastors, fed false information to MBC’s PD Note in an attempt to convert Shinchonji members to their own churches. The pastors who are responsible for MBC’s false broadcast have sinned, and these sins will be a heavy burden for them. Furthermore, those who believed the false reports, united with the conversion educators, and decided to broadcast lies have also sinned. These sins will not be forgotten.
Another controversial scene from the broadcast surrounds a New Year’s meeting where PD Note claimed that the chairman of Shinchonji was selling people tickets to eternal life. In reality, the chairman of Shinchonji gave some young adults from the church the traditional Korean New Year’s gift of money and a small notebook while exchanging New Year’s greetings. He also wrote down a few short comments with Bible verses inside the notebooks. Some of these well-wishes included the word “eternal life.” Can this be considered selling tickets to eternal life? If wishing for someone to receive eternal life is wrong, then all the Bibles in the world must be destroyed and people must be punished for reading them. What does this have to do with freedom of religion? This is religious persecution. Judges and prosecutors should not violate the law, and we believe firmly that you will bring us justice.