Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, has enjoyed a remarkable surge in its membership this year even as the global pandemic continued to restrict physical gatherings and Christians were forced to worship online.
While many churches reported a declining number of congregants, Shincheonji used virtual platforms to extend biblical studies to a wider group of individuals than it would typically have reached through its physical points of presence. Its efforts to continue ensuring that believers were able to listen to the Word of God has resulted in it hosting its second virtual graduation ceremony on December 26.
The faith-based organisation, founded in South Korea, will cap 18,838 graduates of the Zion Christian Mission Centre — its theology studies arm — in a wide array of nations including South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. Shincheonji founder and Chairman Lee Manhee will lead the auspicious ceremony.
“In an environment where people can access various teachings online due to the pandemic, many people have taken interest and started studying the high-level Bible course that Shincheonji Church of Jesus provides,” the church said. “Through the graduation ceremony that is to be broadcasted via Youtube on the 26th, everyone will be able to see why Shincheonji Church of Jesus is growing amidst the declining religious communities.”
Shincheonji attributes its continued growth in membership to its Bible-focused evangelism methods. This is particularly noteworthy as Shincheonji has moved all of its activities online, including worship services. Its Zion Christian Mission Centre offers free Bible courses and its graduates are given the option of officially joining the church after completing the theology programme.
The graduation ceremony where thousands of students will proverbially have their tassels turned will highlight their commitment to their studies through various awards for top achievers. Since the suspension of all face-to-face religious activities due to COVID-19 last year, a total of 37,220 believers completed The Zion Christian Mission Centre’s Bible course online and officially joined Shincheonji Church.