Welcome to Ex-Shincheonji.

Exposing the truth about the secretive cult, Shincheonji (SCJ).
Sharing our stories and our warnings.

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About Us

Falling out of “Heaven on Earth”

This is the blog of those who fell out from “heaven” and are now firmly grounded in reality.
We pray this website will help expose the truth about Shincheonji and help people to leave.

About Shincheonji

Truth vs. Lies about Shincheonji

What’s the truth and what’s fiction about this mysterious church, Shincheonji? Is it a cult? Is it misunderstood? A definitive source of truth vs lies about Shincheonji from a former member.

What people say about Shincheonji

  • People say Shincheonji members are ignorant of the Bible and are brainwashed with weird, false teachings about God and Jesus.
  • People say Shincheonji does good things just for show and is harmful to society.
  • People say Shincheonji makes people leave their families, schools, and careers. Members are forced to quit their jobs and schools, and break up their relationships because those things do not matter.
  • People say Shincheonji is over-zealous and extreme in their evangelism. That they are obsessed with getting more people to learn their teachings and join their organization so that they can become internationally powerful.
  • People say Shincheonji forces people to stay in their cult, even if they want to leave.

The truth about Shincheonji

  • People in Shincheonji study the Bible for almost a year before getting to join the group. They know more about the Bible than anyone else.
  • Shincheonji members volunteer A LOT. They always work with different organizations and non-profits to donate,
  • Shincheonji constantly emphasizes doing well in everything, including family life, relationships, work, and school. Members are always told to be a light to people around us and represent God and Christ well.
  • Shincheonji members follow the teachings of the Bible and the commands of Jesus to preach the gospel to whoever has the heart to listen and wants to learn the truth.
  • Those who want to leave Shincheonji are given the option to do so; I am evidence of one.
ABOUT THE BLOG

My Story

Starting from my parents and aunt, to my boyfriend, everyone in my life was getting sucked into Shincheonji. Naturally, I did too. I chose to walk away and not be religious at all today. But I want everyone to know what kind of place Shincheonji really is and expose its underside.

My Story with Shincheonji

“Shincheonji is a place of family.”

I thought of Shincheonji as my family because my family members
and my significant other were the ones who guided me to the church.
I wasn’t religious before and the fervency required of me was
draining for myself and I realized I didn’t believe in God enough to
make any sacrifice for Him. I’ve walked away but my family is still there;
This blog is dedicated to them and many more like them,
who need to find a way out of the church and back to society.

My Story with Shincheonji

After a year of Bible study…

The only thing I knew about the Bible was that it was important.
I didn’t know its contents, or how it was made, or why we should read it.
After a year of Bible study with Shincheonji, I knew a lot about the Bible,
for certain. The more I learned, the more I realized that God demands a lot
from us. God asks for full-hearted devotion and our lives to be for Him.

My Story with Shincheonji

How Shincheonji Tore My Relationship

My boyfriend and I started to argue and disagree a lot. I didn’t like how
he was devoting more time to his interests and faith rather than to me.
I missed being able to just be with him and do spontaneous things together.
Between his new career, family responsibilities, and church, it seemed like he
didn’t have time for me. I wanted to be his first and only priority. He didn’t understand.
I was angry because if he didn’t have Shincheonji and wasn’t pressured into
doing all those things, he’d have more free time for our relationship.

Why I Quit Shincheonji

Faith was stifling; I wanted out.

God asks for full-hearted devotion and our lives to be for Him.
But what about my own plans? Why do I have to live for God,
when I have this life He’s given me to live and enjoy?
I wasn’t comfortable with talking about the Word to others
or sharing about the Gospel. There were so many things
I didn’t understand and get about faith;
it was demanding and stifling. I wanted out.

Why I Quit Shincheonji

I graduated from a cult.

The crazy thing about learning with Shincheonji is that time passes by so quickly.
I found myself agreeing with the contents of the class and the teachers.
I started to enjoy the friendship of the other students and members in the class,
and found myself considering them as real friends and as my community.
After the class finished, we were introduced to service and the church here.
That’s where it started to go downhill. Those same class friends would check in
on me and ask me how I was doing; I think they knew my heart wasn’t in it.
I enjoyed their company when they were just my fun friends from Bible study,
but I didn’t want to be a congregation member and have responsibilities.

My Life After Shincheonji

Finding my happiness after leaving.

My time in Shincheonji seems like such a blurry nightmare now.
I look back at my time and I cannot believe I spent so much time on
studying the Bible when I did not believe in God or the Bible.
I gave up a lot. I gave up my school studying and hanging out with my friends,
just being able to do whatever I want during my free time.
I still struggle with feelings of guilt; I wake up sometimes wondering
what I am doing with my life and if this is all there is.
Shincheonji left me searching for purpose when I did not think
I needed a life with purpose before. It has left me empty.

Recalling My Cult Experience

When people find out I was in Shincheonji…

When I tell people that I was in Shincheonji, many people ask me what
Shinchonji is because they have never heard of this cult before.
They often ask me how I came to join and what I had to do in order to leave.
When I tell them I just stopped going, they are surprised I did not have to put
up a fight to leave. They ask me what I had to give up for the cult and I explain
I spent my time learning the Bible and hanging out with my “friends” there.
Shincheonji is not like any other cult out there in the world.

ABOUT SCJ

Shin-cheon-ji

Also called New Heaven and New Earth outside of Korea, Shincheonji is a dangerous cult that brings in those who are seeking for God, or dissatisfied with their current church.

“Heaven on Earth”

Shincheonji is different from other churches.

Shincheonji is not just a church, but it’s supposed to be God’s will here on earth.
People are only allowed to join after months of Bible study,
and you graduate to become part of God’s family.

What is Shincheonji?

Shincheonji is an international Christian church that is difficult to categorize along with regular Christian denominations. They don’t prescribe to any denomination and denounce the existence of denominations as “the devil’s work”. They describe themselves as a church promised in the Bible and that they are God’s kingdom here on earth.

What does Shincheonji mean?

Shincheonji (pronounced more like Shin-chun-jee in my opinion) is based on Chinese characters that mean “new heaven and new earth”. They are also referred to as Zion or the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. It’s often abbreviated as “SCJ”. They claim that their name is the one promised in the Bible and that these alignments are proof that they are legitimate.

Is Shincheonji a cult?

This is the first thing people think of when they hear “Shincheonji”. That’s what I thought first too. To define, a cult is “a religion regarded as unorthodox”. Shincheonji definitely does not follow the doctrines or practices of other Christian denominations and churches. In that sense, Shincheonji is the most unorthodox religion out there. But is this wrong? Their teachings and practices are based on the Bible; so who’s wrong: the orthodox who don’t follow the Bible or the unorthodox who follows the Bible?

Is Shincheonji Dangerous?

At its core, Shincheonji is a church and a group of people who want to carry out a life of faith. Some people are very fervent. Some people are not. You’ll find people, as in any church, who want to devote all of their life to it and are all about it, and you’ll find people who are just going with the flow and check-off their attendance. It’s different, depending on who you talk to. The people there are sincere and the doctrines aren’t off, but some are too fervent that it can veer on scary or overwhelming. I felt too busy, too guilty about being too busy for God.

Shincheonji Structure

Shincheonji Church is divided into 12 tribes: one according to each of Jesus’ 12 disciples. So the tribes each have their name, a color, and a jewel that’s associated with them. They have churches all over the world, including countries that you would never have thought about such as Singapore, Australia, South Africa, and the Philippines. The churches are connected together and they all receive the same instruction for the basics of operation: to make sure that people are carrying out the work of harvest (evangelism, proselytizing).

Shincheonji Leadership

Who is Shincheonji led by? The common thought is that LMH leads Shincheonji on his own. They call him “Chairman”, which sounds very Mao-like to me, but they insist that it is from the Bible and represents that he is the head of the assembly gathered of Shincheonji people. The true leader is not even LMH though. The true leader of Shincheonji is found in the name:
the true head of the church is Jesus.

“Shincheonji Only”

Shincheonji believes there is more to the Bible than what we can read on the surface. They push people to understand the Bible rather than just read verses or take away bits and pieces of things they like about it. They make you confront the harsh reality of ourselves that we can in the mirror of God. They teach about parables or secrets in the Bible and they claim to be the only ones that have the correct interpretation. I think this is something everyone should check and verify for themselves.

Pressure to Commit

Shincheonji demands are a lot. Because their demands are what God demands from people in the Bible. When it says in the Bible to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God, and to love God with all of our hearts and minds, Shincheonji takes these words seriously and people always try their best to become better. They always talk about faith and prayer and habits of faith, and are obsessed with knowing a lot about the Bible. So the commitment to devote yourself to faith is high and many people have a hard time with not being able to provide excuses to get away from serving God.

SCJ DOCTRINES

What does SCJ really believe in?

What does SCJ really teach in their Bible studies?
How are SCJ teachings different?

FAQ about SCJ

Frequently Asked Questions

There’s a lot of claims about secrecy and lies, and questions about Shincheonji.
This is a space where we honestly try to answer as someone who’s had these questions before too.

Why is SCJ so big?

Shincheonji is big and international. Although it only started in 1984 in the small country of the Republic of Korea, Shincheonji is now international and has almost 300,000 members world wide. They are the only religious group and cult that grows at the pace that they do and many people have come to hear of the church today. This is due to their fervency in evangelism and sharing the Word and every member contributing in sharing the Word. Literally every member.

Why do people fall into SCJ?

People who join Shincheonji are pretty normal people. That means SCJ people can be around you at any time and you wouldn’t even know it just by interacting with them. They have jobs, they go to school, they have families, like anyone else. I think they fall because they get approached at a time when they are seeking for understanding or faith or something — maybe friends? But in the end, they all say they say because of the Word.

Does SCJ target churches and Christians?

SCJ definitely thinks Christians should know the Bible more than they do and members get very excited when they find a Christian or Catholic person who wants to learn the Bible with them. My cell leader always told me even people in other religions will soon come and want to learn with Shincheonji and I was encouraged to evangelize to anyone who wants to listen, not just church goers.

Why is everything in SCJ about Revelation?

Revelation is the book of Jesus and it is about his return. It is the only book left for the future in the Bible, if you believe the Bible is real. So they are very forward looking and always thinking about how we can be considered righteous when Jesus comes. I’ve never met people who are more obsessed about Jesus and his words than the people of Shincheonji. It is crazy how everything is about God and Jesus and their words and promises. Very tunnel-visioned.

OUR EXPERIENCE

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Unsure where to go, or what to do?

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Or questions to ask,
Or need someone to speak to,
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