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Journal Article

Citation

Sakurai Y. J. Relig. Jpn. 2018; 6(3): 208-240.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2018, Brill Academic Publishers)

DOI

10.1163/22118349-00603004

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

A case of sexual abuse by the supervisor of the Central Church of Holy God (Seishin Chūō Kyōkai 聖神中央教会) in 2005 has led many in the Japanese Christian community and the media to question the "cultification" of the Christian church. This paper will consider the incident and its background, one negative aspect of "church growth" in Japan, in which Korean evangelical and Pentecostal churches competed vigorously to attract devotees. The pastor who founded this church was a Korean resident in Japan who had studied theology and the propagation methodology in South Korea, allowing him to realize church growth in notoriously non-Christian Japan. Yet, his top-down authoritative management suppressed believers' spiritual and physical freedom of religion. In the following case study, I consider how the asymmetrical relations among church members contributed to this religious abuse. After taking into account issues of missionary training, proselytization methodology, and social strata, I suggest that a dysfunction within the "comprehensive religious community" forces members' total dependence on pastors in their belief as well as their lives.


Language: en

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