Duong joined the sect of Tan Thien Dia followers 2Duong joined the sect of Tan Thien Dia followers 2

For Fiona (character’s name has been changed to protect identity), a university student in Singapore, this is the situation that brought her to Tan Thien Dia, the sect currently at the center of the Covid-19 epidemic in

Last week, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that Tan Thien Dia has a branch in the country and that the Ministry is investigating the sect’s activities.

Medical staff disinfect outside a Tan Thien Dia facility in Daegu.

According to Fiona, on a Sunday afternoon in late December last year, she met two men at Dhoby Ghaut station.

When Fiona told her friends about the meeting, they advised her to bring someone along.

`He acted as if I didn’t understand the Bible thoroughly,` Fiona said.

It wasn’t until the morning of March 2, when Fiona’s father sent her a newsletter about Tan Thien Dia, that she realized who she was meeting.

`Members are not allowed to communicate, are not allowed to bring books home. They are taught that lying for God’s sake is acceptable,` Fiona said.

On February 27, the MHA said it was investigating the unregistered branch of the Shincheonji sect in Singapore.

Founded in 1984 by cult leader Lee Man-hee, Shincheonji is described by many countries as heretical because of the unorthodox teachings they promulgate, according to MHA.

Tan Thien Dia has more than 1,000 branches in Korea and hundreds of thousands of members worldwide.

Fiona started taking private lessons with the pastor she met at the subway station in mid-January.

On February 10, she started studying with 8 other people.

Each session begins with them singing a song praising God, then praying and listening to a sermon for about 90 minutes.

During these lessons, Fiona and her classmates had to do unorthodox activities.

Duong joined the sect of Tan Thien Dia followers

Shincheonji leader Lee Man-hee at a press conference in Gapyeong, South Korea, March 2.

They were allowed to take notes but were not allowed to take them home.

During one session, Fiona was also asked to list reasons to tell others if they asked what she was doing with the group.

`I felt uncomfortable but I accepted it because they convinced me that I was doing God’s will and that in order to continue my studies, I needed to make sure that relatives, family, and friends did not hinder me,`

Despite noticing unusual things, Fiona still went to lessons three times a week.

After reading the article her father sent her, Fiona went online and read what former Shincheonji members from all over the world had to say about the sect.

`I felt betrayed,` Fiona said of her anger at the cult leaders.

Fiona was also disappointed at the way she was deceived, but she was relieved to have discovered the truth sooner than many others.

`I was looking for answers about Christianity and they seemed to have a lot of knowledge and answers that I wanted to hear,` Fiona expressed.

`I hope with the details I share… my story will serve as a warning that makes others question the origins of what they believe in,` Fiona said.

Vu Hoang (According to Channel News Asia)

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