Windhoek, Dec 31 – – Amid a global decline in the religious population a clear explanation of the Bible has drawn more than 140,000 believers and the attention of millions to Korean-based Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
“Shincheonji Online Seminar: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings” is a Bible-based programme offered by Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. The series of seminars focuses on understanding the parables written in the Bible’s New Testament and will be live-streamed afresh on YouTube from January.
“Parables are the key element to understanding the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. The prophecy of the Old Testament was fulfilled at the time of Jesus in his first coming. Now, Jesus left his prophecy of the New Testament to be fulfilled “when the time comes” (John 16:25). We are heading towards the true meaning as the prophecy is revealed,” said an official of the church.
A previous iteration of the seminars focused on the book of Revelation and was streamed on YouTube in the last three months. The content was released in 24 languages and reached 7 million views in 136 countries, including 16,000 pastors as participants of the course.
Additionally, 1,200 global church leaders in 57 countries signed memorandum of understandings (MOUs) with Shincheonji to boost international cooperation and exchange educational support.
Pastor Jerry Hagerman of Wayside Mission Church in Virginia, USA is one of the clergymen to have signed the MOU. “I want to be able to grow in the word and I want to teach our congregation…and help bring them from death to life,” he said. “I want to be one with God’s kingdom and have open communication.”
Interest in the educational activities of Shincheonji comes as other churches globally report a downward trend in membership. A report published by Peu Research Center’s National Public Opinion Reference Surveys in December found 3 out of 10 adults in the USA are now religiously unaffiliated, with the Protestant denomination hit hardest by a decline in congregants. Similarly, an investigation from Lifeway Research in Nashville found most Americans consider Jesus a historical figure but have no biblical knowledge about why he came. According to the report only 9% of 1,005 respondents knew that his mission was to testify the fulfilment of the Old Testament.
Contrary to the decrease seen in traditional denominations, over 140,000 people have joined Shincheonji since 2019. Its impressive growth has continued despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Across the world, more and more people are experiencing diseases, disasters, and hardships due to COVID-19, thinking deeply about the meaning of life and suffering. Religion must be able to provide answers to these people. In the religious world where face-to-face activities are limited, education should reach out to every individual in local communities,” a representative of the church said.
“Shincheonji Church appeals to the desire of believers to hold a clear explanation of Jesus’ mission in the New Testament,” he said.
Shincheonji’s latest round of seminars will air on YouTube on Mondays and Thursdays from January 3 to March 28 at 10am (Korea Standard Time). You can watch the seminar by searching “Shincheonji Online Seminar: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings” on YouTube or through the link https://www.youtube.com/c/ShincheonjiChurchofJesus)