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Web surfers criticize prayer house after TV broadcast

Posted December. 18, 2000 19:42,   


The true nature of the "Hallelujah Prayer House," profiled in an SBS TV broadcast Saturday on its weekly program "I Want to Know It¡¯¡¯ has called forth an outpouring of comments from viewers.

Since the program was aired, encouraging calls and mail have been flooding SBS headquarters and its online message board. Many of them were also critical of the prayer house and government authorities.

Some viewers contend that the program spread a negative view of Christianity, but few said the portrayal was unfair. Netizens also rushed to post critical messages on the Hallelujah Prayer House web site, prompting its hurried closure.

After SBS confirmed that it would broadcast the program, thousands of believers in the prayer house gathered at SBS headquarters in Yoido, Seoul, on Dec. 13 to demand its withdrawal. The believers attempted to enter the TV station and clashed with the police troops guarding it.

The prayer house has not yet given any official reaction or lodged a formal protest against the broadcasting company, SBS officials said.

However, the director of the prayer house and its believers are not expected to remain silent, being that they staged violent protests against MBC when it raised suspicions about the prayer house in a program broadcast in March 1993. MBC later apologized for the broadcast.