Cult infiltrating New Zealand churches and educational institutions


Rose Labone’s article in the June edition of North and South investigated the activities in New Zealand of a cult known as Providence.

She says it has infiltrated university campuses, schools and mainstream churches in New Zealand under the guise of being a Christian movement.

It also uses the names Nikau Church, Christian Gospel Mission and Jesus Morning Star.

Providence was founded in 1978 by Jung Myung-Seok, now 73, known by members as “Joshua.”

Jung Myung-Seok claims to be the second coming of Christ.

But he has spent the past ten years in jail in Korea after being convicted of rape.

Reverend Dr Carolyn Kelly works as a chaplain at the University of Auckland. She told Labone that Providence was “recruiting under my nose.”

After becoming aware of the presence of the cult in the university, Kelly began following Providence through social media.

She found social media associated with the group was used for recruitment, with special language for young members. It refers to teenagers as “shining stars” and younger children as “milky ways.”

Kelly also talked to ministers at local Presbyterian and other mainstream churches and discovered they were having a problem with Providence “recruiters” operating in their congregations.

The cult members are known to have infiltrated a Wellington high school, and Victoria and Massey Universities, by presenting to assemblies and setting up dance, sports and modelling groups.

In Auckland, the sect ran a dance group called Make Wings Dance for children as young as three.

The Providence-run “Kotuku Models” operated in New Zealand for several years but is now defunct.

Labone said that over the months of her investigation into Providence’s New Zealand activities, she put questions to the church leadership several times.

Providence declined to answer specific questions about their operations in New Zealand, their recruiting methods and leader Jeong Myeong-Seok.


News category: New Zealand.

Tags: ,