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Murder under the Name of Religion

Posted May. 16, 2003 22:00,   


A religious group reportedly has become the target of an investigation. The group is suspected of beating its followers to death and storing dead bodies to use them for "reincarnation demonstration."

Yesterday, the Criminal Division 3 of the Seoul District Public Prosecutors` Office`s Uidjeongboo Branch searched a residence in Yonchun County, Kyunggi Province, where the group`s followers have lived together. The DA`s office found four dead bodies.

Fourteen followers were arrested on the spot, and being interrogated at the Yonchun Police Department.

One of the bodies was identified and the rest three were believed to be those of the group`s followers. They were exhumed allegedly in an attempt to revive them. The bodies have been stored in a container.

According to the DA`s office, the identified body belongs to Lee, who was beaten and clubbed to death by other followers early this year for lack of "faith in God."

The DA`s office first got notice of the case, when a follower Choi filed a battery and assault complaint on May 12th against other followers.

The group got separated from other religious groups in 2001 due to the dispute over religious doctrines. Thereafter, it has blocked non-followers from entering their complex where its 80 followers live together.

The cult followers damaged 6,000 m² of farming fields and built up a building of 280 m² without proper permit. The Yonchun County Government has filed a lawsuit against the group.

The DA`s office is reportedly grilling the suspects arrested on the spot to find out the cause and identifies of the dead bodies.