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Steps taken to expel controversial pastor from Christian Council of Korea

The pastor of Sarang Jeil Church Jeon Kwang-hoon (Yonhap)
The pastor of Sarang Jeil Church Jeon Kwang-hoon (Yonhap)

Jeon Kwang-hoon, a right-wing pastor who once served as the president of the Christian Council of Korea, has been expelled from the national evangelical alliance.

The council, a member of the World Evangelical Alliance, convened on Tuesday and labeled Jeon of Sarang Jeil Church as a pseudo-religious figure based on a study by CCK’s committee on pseudo-religions.

The study was launched after several requests last year and was published last month. The report said that most of the 15 claims against Jeon were based on his controversial speeches and his behavior.

The 66-year-old made many controversial remarks that he claimed were revelations of God, including: "South Korea will disappear from the global community when the Moon Jae-in administration ends its term," "South Korea will center around Jeon Kwang-hoon for next 10 years," "South Korea will be disbanded and incorporated into North Korea," and "There will remain nothing in 100 years except for Jeon Kwang-hoon's words.” Although these remarks are inappropriate, the report said, they could not be used to define him as pseudo-religious leader.

More problematic were his comments related to religion, such as “Jeon Kwang-hoon witnessed the revelation in heaven that I am the prophet and the king,” among others, the report said.

The report also demanded Jeon explain several of his statements including, “If a female believer drops her underwear, then she's my believer, if not, she’s not my believer” and “God, I'll kill you if you mess with me,” among others, but Jeon did not provide any explanation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeon violated various social distancing measures and went ahead with in-person worship services and large-scale rallies.

The CCK also decided to suspend Jeon’s qualification for three years and cut exchanges with Jeon's two associations, Presbyterian Church of Korea Daeshin and the New Puritan Spiritual Training Center.

A final decision on his expulsion will be made Dec. 15.



By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)
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