Is a new cult infiltrating Christian churches in America? Pastor Alexander Pagani is sounding the alarm to pastors and congregants everywhere after a group of people started attending his church meetings to recruit his congregants to join what has become one of the fastest-growing religious organizations in the world.
At the beginning of the year, Pagani felt God was leading him to start focusing on the principles of the kingdom of God in his teachings. One particular Wednesday night he noticed some new people coming to the services, which isn’t out of the blue for their church. The weeks continued and the group of people continued to come to the service showing a lot of interest in his teachings.
“Last Wednesday after the services they began to speak to me about a Bible study but something on the inside of me started to go off,” he says in our Charisma magazine interview.
The conversations felt scripted and the premise of their Bible study was “let’s unite.” “On the surface that’s great, but my spirit didn’t bear witness with the invitation. Long story short, I looked up the church and they were a cult. Their primary objective is to infiltrate Christian churches in the name of let’s unify, let’s do Bible study online and the goal isn’t to unite in the Christian faith but to recruit,” Pagani says.
Since then, he started speaking out about what was going on. To his surprise, he found other churches facing the same problem. Pagani wrote the group back and said he would not tolerate his church as their mission field.
Their response the next day was nothing short of alarming. They told him they will “remove his church off their lists.”
Who is this group?
Shincheonji or known in America as New Heaven New Earth church was founded in the 1980’s by Lee Man-Hee.
“He is called the promised pastor to come from the New Testament. That alone should set off alarms. He equates himself, as many cult leaders do, [to] ‘the comforter,'” Pagani says. 18 members of Pagani’s church had been contacted by the group and one of them went to the meeting.
On New Heaven New Earth’s website it says, “One day, he was praying as he always did, when a ‘large star’ that he had frequently seen before came to him from the sky and he saw this star for three days. Starting from that time, those around him started to persecute him for no reason, and soon after, he met a person from heaven. He wrote a pledge of his devotion to God in blood, and since then, endured through countless hardships. He saw the corruption of the pastors as he carried out a life of faith, but he also saw and heard the congregation’s loyal effort and prayers.”
“Fallen angels are also called stars. The Bible says the dragon took a third of the stars of heaven and flung them to the earth,” Pagani says. In the Bible, we also read Galatians 1:8, “Although if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than the one we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
Lee Man-Hee’s followers believe he is the only one to interpret the book of Revelation and anyone who connects to his church will be part of the 144,000. He teaches that he shed his blood and is the only one to open the seals in the book of Revelation. “Making a devotion to God with blood alone lets you know it’s a cult and it has satanic ties. It also lets you know when a person makes a blood pact with anything there is a giving of your life to it,” Pagani says.
Shincheonji church became the first church in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest blood donation of any group of people with 70,000 donations at once. In a video, they said their goal was “with earnest hearts to proclaim the dignity and value of blood.”
“If you don’t see the connection…then either our discernment level is so low we need to get back to apologetics,” Pagani says.
New Heaven New Earth church has just completed one of the largest groups of recruits for any organization with 100,000 graduates joining their movement across the world. In the midst of what they are trying to do, orthodox churches in South Korea have already started putting up signs outside their church building saying people from Shincheonji are not welcome in their buildings because of their recruitment tactics.
“It’s not just overseas it’s in the U.S., maybe it hasn’t hit your church yet but in New York, it has,” Pagani says.
“It’s a cult. It’s not a faction of a sect in Christianity. It’s remodified its tactics on how to infiltrate the Christian church. This is a clarion call to all pastors, you need to investigate Shincheonji church and its surname in the U.S. which is New Heaven New Earth, and ask your congregation if they have been reached out to by this cult on social media to have Bible study. You’ll be shocked by how many of your congregants have already,” Pagani says.
Tune in to the rest of our conversation to hear more in-depth on the recruitment tactics, a teaching on Isaiah 58 and why it’s Biblically sound to speak out against cults trying to infiltrate the church.
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Shelby Bowen is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.