menu
The Supreme Court Orders CBS to produce a counterargument to “Shincheonji Church is Anti-Nation, Anti-Social and Anti-Religion”… “Nevertheless ‘Constant Harassment’ Works”
종교 English News

[Issue-In] The Supreme Court Orders CBS to produce a counterargument to “Shincheonji Church is Anti-Nation, Anti-Social and Anti-Religion”… “Nevertheless ‘Constant Harassment’ Works”

'Correction and Refutation' on 'People Who Fell into Shincheonji' was Aired at 3 AM while Everyone was asleep. Were they ashamed?“Installed 8 hidden cameras” ⓒ천지일보
'Correction and Refutation' on 'People Who Fell into Shincheonji' was Aired at 3 AM while Everyone was asleep. Were they ashamed?“Installed 8 hidden cameras” ⓒ천지일보

[Daily Cheonji=Reporter, Kang Sookyung] Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL: Chairman Man Hee Lee) announced that it would hold 'The 4th annual commemoration of the WARP Summit (World Alliance of Religions' Peace)' at Incheon Asiade Main Stadium. It is going to be held simultaneously in 97 major cities worldwide, including major cities in South Korea.

However, HWPL is having difficulties in renting stadium for an event in opposition to some Protestant denominations which insist that WARP Summit is a camouflage event with a reason why Chairman of HWPL is a chairman of Shicheonji church and that Shincheonji church causes social problems that are anti-nation and anti-social, and encourages its members to run away from home. As the event is just around the corner, HWPL has been reported that the organizers are experiencing difficulties.

These protestants have been claiming that 'Shincheonji church is anti-nation, anti-social and illegal’, and that it also incites people to run away from home, which has led to social problems over the last ten years. They have also been using such claims as their basis of argument against Shincheonji church in order to hinder any Shincheonji church event (preventing venue hire, demanding withdrawal of participation from an event etc) actively. As a result of their efforts in preventing venue hire for Shincheonji's event, the initial hiring of Ansan-Wa Stadium, which was one of the venues for this year's WARP Summit, was subsequently cancelled, causing great controversy.

Last year, the Supreme Court recognized Shincheonji’s opposition that Shincheonji church is not an anti-social, anti-national organization, and the WARP Summit is a peaceful event in connection with the documentary, people who fell into Shincheonji, broadcasted by CBS in March 2015. In spite of this fact, even public officials are swayed by the logic of the opposite party to Shincheonji church that labels Shincheonji church as ‘an anti-social, anti-national organization'. This has drawn criticism about the selfishness of religion in shaking the foundations of the constitutional government.

◆ The Supreme Court recognized the right to refute that Shincheonji is not an illegal anti-national organization

Correction and CounterargumentCounterargument1. Regarding being 'Anti-national and an illegal organization'A. The prosecution argued that, during the first part of the

Correction and Counterargument : 1. Regarding being 'Anti-national and an illegal organization'A. The prosecution argued that, during the first part of the "Observation Report: People who fell into Shincheonji church" on the 16th March 2015, CBS broadcast a video interview with Mr. Seunguk Eom in order to show that 'Shincheonji church is anti-national and an illegal organization'.B. In response, Shincheonji church counterargued that it obeys the law, and is neither an illegal organization with illegal purposes nor an anti-national organization that seeks to acquire political gain or cause civil conflict. 

On the last November 23, the Supreme Court's second division (Chief Justice Kwon Soon-il) concluded the second sentence: CBS that aired the "People who fell into Shicheonji must issue correction on 1 case and refutation on 8 cases, and then pay compensation of 8 million won to Shincheoji, which judged partially in favor of Shincheonji. Thereby CBS broadcasted a correction and refutation report at 3 a.m. on November 30, when all the people fell asleep, which Press Ethics has come to the fore. (Source: image captured from CBS’s correction and counterargument statement on broadcasting on 30 November 2017)

In March 2015, in the first part of “ People who fell into Shincheonji, the libel documentary of Shicheonji Church, CBS reported interviews of Mr. Eom who meant that Shincheonji is an anti-national and illegal organization. But in regard with this, the Supreme Court admitted that Shincheonji church was not an illegal organization to abide by the law and achieve its illegal goals. And also it admitted that Shincheonji church is not an anti-national organization with the aim of national change or government.

◆The Supreme Court upheld the objection that we are not a church that encourages running away from home and causes us to cut off heaven and earth.

During the second part of the March 2015 documentary 'People who fell into Shincheonji church', CBS alleged, through its lead representative Sang-wook Byun, that "Shincheonji incites congregation members to run away from home and to disown their families". Anti-Shincheonji groups who slander Shincheonji church, like 'Shinpimo' for example, strongly insist that this gives Korean society the false impression that Shincheonji church is a social evil.

However, regarding CBS's claims, the Supreme Court upheld Shicheonji’s objection such that Shicheonji church strictly ban students from running away and instruct them to be good to their parents and also the above report generalizes the story of a few specific people.

Correction and Counterargument : 2. Regarding the part

Correction and Counterargument : 2. Regarding the part "Shincheonji incites congregation members to run away from home and to disown their families".A. The prosecution argued that, during the second part of the documentary 'People who fell into Shincheonji church' and through its host Sang-wook Byun, CBS reported that "Shincheonji incites congregation members to run away from home and to disown their families". In response to the above, we inform you of Shincheonji church’s counter-argument: "Shincheonji church vehemently discourages its congregation members from running away from home and teaches them to be good to parents. CBS' argument only generalizes the case of a few congregation members."

On the 23rd November 2017, the second division department of the Supreme Court (Presiding judge: Soonil Kwon) ordered CBS to broadcast one correction·and eight counterarguments and to pay 8 million Korean Won in response to its on-air broadcast 'People who fell in Shincheonji church'. Consequently, CBS has broadcasted its correction and counterargument, but CBS' ethical reporting hangs in the balance because it was aired at 3 a.m. when everyone was asleep. (This is an image captured of CBS’ correction and counterargument that was broadcast at 3 a.m. on the 30th November 2017.)

‘The argument that Shincheonji church encourages its congregation members to run away from home’ was ascertained to be a lie in Daily Cheonji's investigative report.

In October 2016, members of Shincheonji Victims' Family Union staged a massive campaign around Hongik University pleading for the return of their children. Citizens, who saw their teary appeals, agreed that Shincheonji church is a troublesome organization. Following the campaign, and after some difficulty, Daily Cheonji contacted the children of parents present at the campaign. (Related article | ‘Give my child back who has fallen into Shincheonji church?’… Investigation into the children)

Speaking online with Daily Cheonji, these 'children who had run away from home' responded, rather embarrassed, "I'm already at home, why are they holding a campaign for me?"

One child said "I talk to my parents every day. I can't go home because they want to take me to receive coercive conversion, and not welcome me back home, which then makes me afraid of going back home." Children who can't return home worry that their parents may take them to coercive conversion, and they speak to their family on the phone. They maintain that "It is not because of Shincheonji church that I feel unable to return home, but because of family who want to take me to a coercive conversion pastor who is urging them on. They are so reckless." Through previous investigations carried out by Suwon District Public Prosecutors' Office in 2007 and 2014, it has already been proven that Shincheonji has never encouraged runaways.

◆The Supreme Court acknowledges the Right of Reply of Shincheonji church, "Shincheonji church doesn't force or brainwash its congregation members, or ask them to disown their families."

Correction and Counterargument :3. Regarding Hyo-eun Kim's statement about ‘force, brainwashing and disownment'A. The prosecution provided the following words in a statement by Hyo-eun Kim, who has since converted from Shincheonji church to the established protestant church after receiving coercive conversion:

Correction and Counterargument : 3. Regarding Hyo-eun Kim's statement about ‘force, brainwashing and disownment'A. The prosecution provided the following words in a statement by Hyo-eun Kim, who has since converted from Shincheonji church to the established protestant church after receiving coercive conversion: "Shincheonji church continuously showed me a video about its beginnings and background until I was exhausted. Furthermore, they brainwashed me through this video until I felt exhausted and fell asleep. They told me not to talk about any class with my parents, and also wanted me to disown my family, saying 'How can you do God's work if you can't overcome your family's interference?'". During the second part of 'People who fell into Shincheonji church', and in response to the question asked by the producer of the programme "Did Shincheonji church force you to quit your job?", he replied "Shincheonji church forced me to quit my job and helped me lie, which they refer to as 'wisdom'."

On the last November 23, the Supreme Court's second division (Chief Justice Kwon Soon-il) concluded the second sentence: CBS that aired the "People who fell into Shicheonji must issue correction on 1 case and refutation on 8 cases, and then pay compensation of 8 million won to Shincheoji, which judged partially in favor of Shincheonji. Thereby CBS broadcasted a correction and refutation report at 3 a.m. on November 30, when all the people fell asleep, which Press Ethics has come to the fore. (Source: image captured from CBS’s correction and counterargument statement on broadcasting on 30 November 2017)

Correction and Counterargument : B. In response to the above, we inform you of Shincheonji church's counter-argument:

Correction and Counterargument : B. In response to the above, we inform you of Shincheonji church's counter-argument: "Shincheonji church hasn't brainwashed its congregation members, but permits members to decide freely through the teachings of the Word. The religious life of Shincheonji church's congregation members is not forced, and the church has never demanded them to disown their families."

On the last November 23, the Supreme Court's second division (Chief Justice Kwon Soon-il) concluded the second sentence: CBS that aired the "People who fell into Shicheonji must issue correction on 1 case and refutation on 8 cases, and then pay compensation of 8 million won to Shincheoji, which judged partially in favor of Shincheonji. Thereby CBS broadcasted a correction and refutation report at 3 a.m. on November 30, when all the people fell asleep, which Press Ethics has come to the fore. (Source: image captured from CBS’s correction and counterargument statement on broadcasting on 30 November 2017)

During the second part of 'People who fell into Shincheonji church' in March 2015, CBS reported "Shincheonji church brainwashed and demanded a congregation member to disown her family and forced her to quit her job."

However, in response to this, the Supreme Court passed the following judgement: "Shincheonji church hasn't brainwashed its congregation members, but permits members to decide freely through the teachings of the Word. The religious life of Shincheonji church's congregation members is not forced, and the church has never demanded them to disown their families", acknowledging Shincheonji church’s right of reply.

◆The Supreme Court Acknowledges the Right of Reply of Shincheonji church, "Shincheonji church is neither an anti-social nor criminal organization."

During the third part of 'People who fell into Shincheonji church' in March 2015, CBS broadcast the interview with pastor Hyun-ook Sin, who said "Shincheonji church has been deceiving numerous souls and created conflict between families and church members including suicide, violence, divorce, runaways, suspending one’s studies, quitting jobs etc., which is more than just a religious problem, but one that is also anti-social and criminal.”

Correction and Counterargument : 4. Regarding the 'Anti-social and criminal organization' argumentA. During the third part of 'Observation report: People who fell into Shincheonji church' in March 2015, CBS broadcast an interview with pastor Hyun-ook Sin, who said

Correction and Counterargument : 4. Regarding the 'Anti-social and criminal organization' argumentA. During the third part of 'Observation report: People who fell into Shincheonji church' in March 2015, CBS broadcast an interview with pastor Hyun-ook Sin, who said "Shincheonji church has been deceiving numerous souls and created conflict between families and church members including suicide, violence, divorce, runaways, suspending one’s studies, quitting jobs etc., which is more than just a religious problem, but one that is also anti-social and criminal.”

On the last November 23, the Supreme Court's second division (Chief Justice Kwon Soon-il) concluded the second sentence: CBS that aired the "People who fell into Shicheonji must issue correction on 1 case and refutation on 8 cases, and then pay compensation of 8 million won to Shincheoji, which judged partially in favor of Shincheonji. Thereby CBS broadcasted a correction and refutation report at 3 a.m. on November 30, when all the people fell asleep, which Press Ethics has come to the fore. (Source: image captured from CBS’s correction and counterargument statement on broadcasting on 30 November 2017)

In response to this, the Supreme Court's judgement stated: "The majority of instances of divorce, runaways, family conflict, suspension of one’s study etc. occur because of the coercive conversion programmes implemented by coercive conversion pastors under the Heresy Handling Committee of the Christian Council of Korea which violates the will of Shincheonji church's congregation members. As the coercive conversion program begins, most parents of Shincheonji church's congregation members spontaneously quit their livelihoods or stop their children going to school or work. Moreover, these problems are related to only a handful of Shincheonji church congregation members”, acknowledging Shincheonji church’s right of reply.

◆The Supreme Court acknowledges Shincheonji church’s right of reply: "The WARP Summit (World Alliance of Religions' Peace) is not a camouflage event."

At the fourth part of the documentary, people who fell into Shnincheonji, CBS broadcast the interview of the reporter Mr. Song, saying "The WARP Summit has a hidden intention and foreigners are exploited by Shincheonji church. Foreign leaders are deceived." However, the Supreme Court affirmed Shincheonji church’s right of reply with the statement: "The WARP Summit is a global peace forum. Shincheonji church thoroughly explained the purpose of the event beforehand so it has never deceived foreigners".

According to the ruling of the second trial of last year, it states that under the Press Arbitration Law, the refutation report is a factual account of the arguments that have already been reported before, and should not be peripheral. It also explains that the meaning of the refutation report is to give readers a chance to balance judgment between the two conflicting facts. That is, order for refutation report is given only when the court only when the court admits the applicants’ claim as true.

◆"'Constant Harassment' works better than the Law"

On the 9th September, a member of Anti-Shincheonji church group demanded face-to-face dialogue with the mayor of Incheon for the cancellation of hire of Incheon Asiade Main Stadium where the 4th annual commemoration of the WARP Summit was due to be held. On the fifth day of the protest - a public fast - a protester was spotted eating bread. The protester was looking at her mobile phone while eating bread. ⓒ천지일보
On the 9th September, a member of Anti-Shincheonji church group demanded face-to-face dialogue with the mayor of Incheon for the cancellation of hire of Incheon Asiade Main Stadium where the 4th annual commemoration of the WARP Summit was due to be held. On the fifth day of the protest - a public fast - a protester was spotted eating bread. The protester was looking at her mobile phone while eating bread. ⓒ천지일보

But even after the Supreme Court ruling, the opponents of Shincheonji Church continue to make ridiculous claims. In fact, the renting of the Ansan-Wa Stadium was also cancelled due to the absurd argument of them that Shincheonji Church should not lend because Shincheonji church is a group of problems.

A congregation member of Shincheonji church said "In the case of Ansan-Wa stadium, constant harassment worked better than judgement by the law. Shincheonji church is constantly suffering from Protestants who oppress public officials for their personal vested interests." This member emphasized that "The constitutional government judges only by the law, not by the power of a particular party. When an official’s duty is fulfilled according to the law, the long-term abuse of power and authority by certain religious institutions will disappear.

On the other hand, on November 23, the Supreme Court's second division (Chief Justice Kwon Soon-il) concluded the second sentence: CBS that aired the "People who fell into Shicheonji must issue correction on 1 case and refutation on 8 cases, and then pay compensation of 8 million won to Shincheoji, which judged partially in favor of Shincheonji. Thereby CBS broadcasted a correction and refutation report at 3 a.m. on November 30, when all the people fell asleep, which Press Ethics has come to the fore. (Source: image captured from CBS’s correction and counterargument statement on broadcasting on 30 November 2017)

Ansan-Wa stadium, which is under controversy for 'religiously-biased administration' due to constant calls for cancellation of hire for the 918 World Peace Festival. ⓒ천지일보
Ansan-Wa stadium, which is under controversy for 'religiously-biased administration' due to constant calls for cancellation of hire for the 918 World Peace Festival. ⓒ천지일보

천지일보는 24시간 여러분의 제보를 기다립니다.
  • 카카오톡 채널: 천지일보
  • 전화: 1644-7533
  • 이메일: newscj@newscj.com
저작권자 © 천지일보 - 새 시대 희망언론 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
기사제보 지면구독신청
댓글