The Christian movement is being banned, and its churches raided, one province after the other.
by Chen Wangli
On April 30, 2021, Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin province, announced that the Good News Mission had been banned in the Prefecture, and its churches had been shut down. On March 30, the Civil Affairs Bureau of Shaoxing, Zhejiang province had issued its “Announcement on Banning the ‘Good News Church’ (Good News Mission),” and local communities had been raided in Zhejiang too.
The Good News Mission, also known as Guwonpa in South Korea (although the name Guwonpa in fact applies to different “salvation” groups), is not in the list of the xie jiao, but it is now a common strategy to ban a religious movement in one region and province after the other, leading to a de facto national ban. Bitter Winter has learned that several believers of the Mission have been detained both in Jilin and Zhejiang provinces this year.
The CCP is particularly concerned with the presence of Korean Christian movements and underground missionaries in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, which has a significant Korean-speaking minority as a result of economic migrations of Koreans in the 19th century.
The origins of the Good News Mission lie in the missions to Korea of Worldwide Evangelization for Christ (WEC International), founded in 1913 by fundamentalist Protestant activist C.T. Studd. In 1956, WEC sent Kays Glass as a missionary to South Korea. Park Ock Soo studied in a Christian school established by Glass and in 1972 founded the Good News Mission, which became independent after the WEC missionaries returned home.
The Good News Mission was phenomenally successful. Several of Park’s books sold more than a million copies in South Korea, and the movement grew to the present 178 churches in its home country and some 600 abroad, in 80 different countries.
Pastor Park’s teachings about one-time repentance from sins resulting in achieving salvation have been criticized as unorthodox by other conservative Korean Christians, who are also unhappy about losing members to the Good News Mission.
It is unknown how many members the Good News Mission has in China, but his success was considerable enough to alarm the CCP, which has now decided to crack down on its churches.