“In a May 1 story about a bus crash in Hong Kong, The Associated Press, relying on information from local police, erroneously reported that the accident victims belonged to a Christian group. The victims were members of the Shinji Shumeikai, a non-Christian Japanese spiritual group.”
This is an interesting thing to read. I guess I find it funny that the mistaken religion was Christianity. I know that China is a country where Christians receive persecution. What kind of impression did the police get that would allow them to believe it was Christians? Am I reading too much into this?
I guess I would further read about this group, which appears to be a small cult. Why do I say cult? It seems they even identify themselves this way, or at least Japan File does. This is arbitrary information, but it appears that a Geocities site archived the info. This is kind of scary: “In the past or even now, the cult members stop a passer-by on the street, and ask him/her if they can pray for their happiness and welfare before stretching their hand toward the unsuspecting person in the name of “Jyorei (purifying the soul)”. That is how they have practiced recruitment of new members.”
NOTE: Someone please tell me how to change fonts back to normal in WordPress…
Oh, there we go with the font…
Ok, so they appear to trick people into thinking this “jyorei” has purified their soul? I guess that explains this: “In order to become a new member, one has to participate in a three-day “teaching instruction” and pay 30,000 yen to obtain an OHIKARI.” Right, so pay money…haven’t seen that before…money solves everything, doesn’t it?
“The cult forces its members to donate money or recruit new members. When they cannot meet the target for money donation, they are forced to go to loan shark to lend money, go out on the street or visit homes to recruit new members. The upper hierarchy members verbally abuse those who still cannot meet the money target in front of many members and make them promise to meet the donation target next time.”
Perhaps it’s a good thing the AP got this cleared up-this group is so far from Jesus and his teachings. It was certainly not a Christian bus. The end of the articles mentions the French congress calling this group a cult, along with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Soka Gakkai (Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism). That’s a fair designation, I think.