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S. Korean Protestant group to consider banning yoga

A Protestant religious group in South Korea is set to decide whether it will block its members from practicing yoga and magic tricks, both of which they deem “heretic.”

“(Yoga) not only has its origin and motive in worshipping a foreign god, it also is a means of becoming a Hindu,” a committee of the Presbyterian Church of Korea said in an internal report. “It cannot be seen as how it claims to be an exercise for peace of mind, weight control and stretching of body. Therefore, the church must forbid its practice.”


An official of the group confirmed the details of the report in a telephone interview with The Korea Herald on Friday.

The group, representing a host of Presbyterian churches, will hold discussions between Sept. 18 and 21 at Onnuri Community Church in Yangjae-dong, Seoul, one of the major locations for Presbyterian service.

The religious sect will also discuss whether it will ban magic tricks aimed at attracting young children to join the sect. The report by the church group committee says the “man-made trickery should not enter the doors of a church, regardless of whether it remains in the boundaries of entertainment and culture.”

Korea has an estimated 9.6 million Protestants and 3.8 million Catholics, according to data gathered in 2015 by Statistics Korea.