Religion and Politics: Gwanghwa Congregation

Religion and Politics

Religion and Politics

Kyeong Jin Lee

Religion and Politics

After several weeks of increased Coronavirus infections across Seoul and Incheon, now there are about 100 cases a day as Chuseok is here. The public is blaming the Leader of the CCK (the Christian council of Korea), Kwanghoon Jeon because of his leading congregation.

He is famous for this congregation, and he is also famous for what he had said in his sermon. His nickname was underwear pastor because one of his sermons was about the women who can remove underwear in front of him. He is also famous for what he had said about God. He said, “God stop it, God I will kill you.” He is also planning for another congregation on October 2nd so lots of people are not only blaming him but also blaming Christianity too.

This congregation’s started on June 11, 2019. The leader of CCK started the interview and this interview was the starting point. He said that 90% of Christian is supporting him, and he wanted the president to resign. He also mentioned that this is God’s order. Started from this, he had his congregation every week and every time he made his sermon, it became an issue every time.

He swore to the president every time he made a sermon. One thing he had been an issue was he was with a specific party every time. People doubt Christianity because he always went up there and swear to the president and he made people do the violence. On October 3rd. he expressed offering time as the happiest moment so it became an issue because even though the church’s offering time isn’t illegal, collecting money on the congregation is illegal. People also doubted because people thought that every pastor likes money. Pastor’s crime happened every time, however, this was a big issue because he was the leader of the Korean church. His follower threatened blind school kids too.

On January 4, 2020, blind school parents were complaining about their loudness. However, people in that congregation threatened blind kids and people who were complaining about their loudness. This has also become people’s doubt about Christianity because people thought that Christianity is about love and peace. Using violence in this congregation isn’t the first time. On October 2nd, North Korean people were trying to go over the police line to go inside the court, and people in the congregation were singing praising songs about God. They have been trying to go inside the court using violence so much time. Lots of politicians sued him for supporting violence and rebellion. He had refused to participate for so many times. He said sue president first and I’ll attend. After he attended, he got out because he was thought to be innocent. His famous speech happened on October 22nd, 2019. He said that he will be an important person in Korea because he is chosen by God. He said God stop and if you fool with me, I will kill you.

He said he is so friendly to say this to God. This became so famous because it is considered as blasphemy. There was the next election for CCK leader so people thought that he wouldn’t become a leader again because of it. However, he became the leader of CCK again. As the congregation happens, a politician in the congregation started to spread out. The leader of CCK started another political party. He had a Christian freedom party, and he made one more party. On the new year congregation, he mentioned in the congregation to pick his political party. This made him arrested because he was going against election law. He got out of prison and had a congregation again.

This was when the Coronavirus got worse in Daegu. The Mayor of Seoul strongly asked people not to gather due to the coronavirus. However, another congregation happened so the pastor got arrested again. April 16 was the election. While the government was making gathering in the church as illegal, he was forced to gather people inside the church and this became an issue again. He got arrested for infection law and he was set to free with the fee. He gathered people to have a congregation on August 15. Judge asked people to stay inside, however, the judge agreed on this congregation so this made people fear another spread.

His church got spread on August 14. This was an irregular number because his church had 241 people on just one day. So, he said in the congregation that the government spread the virus inside his church. This congregation was the starting point of another spread. The leader of CCK got infected in coronavirus and he even took out his mask while he was making his speech. There were more than 20000 people in the congregation. He made his speech and he had touched lots of people while he was walking with these people. Corona spread had brought lots of loss for the business. So many Karaoke and PC room had to close due to it. Now he is in prison due to infection law. His attitude made lots of people hate Christianity. Even when he was in the ambulance, he was smiling with his mask taken off. Not only him but also lots of church issues made people hate Christianity.

Lots of pastors participated in this congregation and made his follower join this congregation as well. While the government is asking the church to stop gather and do the online service, lots of churches didn’t follow and were forced to do in-person service. This corona spread had so much effect on university students too. It was really hard to get the job before the coronavirus happened. However, it got worse because all of the workplaces are having a hard time. So, lots of people are angry at Christians for doing services at this time. People doubt whether pastors are thinking about their money loss or thinking about followers.

Now they are planning another congregation on the Korean holiday. Lots of text messages were found. PC room has opened again, however, people with food and entertainment business are worrying because they had so much loss due to it. Politicians and the Woolsan bus union are trying to stop this congregation to happen, however, the pastor is trying to do again and this is making people so much worry about it.