World Mission Society Church of God
World Mission Society Church of God
Elohists, Ahnsahnghong, Igreja de Deus Sociedade Missionária Mundial, Iglesia de Dios Sociedad Misionera Mundial, WMSCOG
Ahn Sahng-hong (aka "our heavenly Father Christ Ahnsahnghong") (1918–1985)
Zahng Gil-Jah (aka "the Heavenly Mother," "Mother Jerusalem"); Rev. Kim Joo-cheol ("general pastor")
Originally founded in 1964 under the name "Witnesses of Jesus Church of God" in Busan, South Korea
Bundang, Seongnam City, South Korea
Church of God Theological Seminary Elohim Training Institute, Okcheon Go & Come Training Institute, Jounyisan Training Institute, Saet-byeol Kindergarten
International We Love U Foundation, New Life Welfare Foundation, Church of God History Museum, Messiah Orchestra
One WMSCOG website explains that its six "Truth Books" are "the books of life, which Christ Ahnsahnghong wrote for the salvation of God’s remnant people," that "all the secrets sealed in the Bible must be revealed," and that "Whoever reads these books will realize that this is the age when the truth of God has been restored…" The Bible is also used as a basis for the group’s beliefs.
The WMSCOG affirms belief in both God the Father and "God the Mother." It identifies God the Mother as a living Korean woman known as Zhang Gil-Jah (b. 1943). One WMSCOG website explains that "God the Mother is the core of our faith and the figure that guides us. A human, by nature, is susceptible to committing a sin. God the Mother, who understands human vulnerability, steers us in the right direction just as our mother takes care of children. God the Mother stands by and prays for us whenever we face hardships." According to the WMSCOG, God the Father was known as Jehovah in the Old Testament, then was born as Jesus (the Son of God) in the New Testament. Thus, in WMSCOG theology, the Father and the Son are the same person revealed in different eras, which is a kind of modalism. In 1918, God the Father was born as God the Holy Spirit with the name Ahn Sahng-hong (d. 1985). The WMSCOG claims that since God has now revealed himself as the Holy Spirit, it is necessary for us to know his true name to be saved. One of the group’s sites explains that "The World Mission Society Church of God is a religion spread to the West from Korea," noting that "The overseas members are continually visiting the New Jerusalem Temple (in Bundang-gu, Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province)....It’s because the members of the Church of God all around the world believe that Korea is the blessed country at the ends of the earth according to the prophecy of the Bible, that is, the last holy land of the gospel." The group gives celebration of the Passover a central place in its ritual calendar, and also observes six other Old Testament feasts. The WMSCOG is Sabbatarian (reflecting its Seventh-day Adventist roots); Christmas and Easter are not observed, and use of the cross as a symbol is rejected.
Controversies include allegations of aggressive and deceptive proselytizing; coercive control of members, who are said to be alienated from their natural families; and concealing "insider" doctrinal literature from non-members. A rival group, the New Covenant Passover Church of God (NCPCOG), challenges the WMSCOG’s claims about Ahn Sahng-hong.
In 2020 the WMSCOG claimed 3 million members in 7,500 churches across 175 countries
Angola, Argentina, Australia, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo (Democratic Republic), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Laos, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
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