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S. Korean evangelist's Uganda visit prompts cult jitters.

KAMPALA, July 5 Kyodo

South Korean evangelist Jae Rock Lee arrived Tuesday in Uganda to hold a Christian leaders' conference and a gospel crusade amid allegations by the Korean Missionary Association (KMA) in Uganda that he is a cult leader.

Lee was received at Entebbe International Airport by Ugandan Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Joash Mayanja Nkangi.

In a colorful ceremony, the minister asked Lee to pray for Uganda so that cultists do not gain a foothold in the country. Lee responded that he will pray for all Ugandans, and he denounced cultists.

Lee will hold a Christian leaders' conference on Wednesday and Thursday and a gospel crusade from Friday to Sunday, both in Kampala.

Lee is a senior pastor of the Man Min Joang Ang Church of Kuroku in Seoul and a moderator of Coalition Holy Church and director of Coalition Holy Seminary.

Bickering in the press between born-again Christians over Lee and his visit began last week as advertisements about the conference and crusade hit local newspapers.

The KMA released a statement saying Lee is a cult leader and that he is not well accepted by Korean churches.

''First of all, he was excommunicated as a cult leader from his own denomination (Church of Holiness) in May 1990 and from the Korean Christian Association (Han K Chong) on the 30th of April 1999 because of his unbiblical teachings,'' the statement says.

The statement also claims that on July 5, 1998, Lee said he was sinless and exempted from dying and that he and Jesus Christ are one. This allegation has also caused born-again Christians of other denominations to react angrily.

The allegation of Lee's association with a cult has drawn in the police.

Deputy Police Spokesman Eric Naigambi said that police are checking out the allegation, adding, ''There is no smoke without fire.''

He said police will not stop the conference and the crusade unless it is proven that Lee is a danger. He did not elaborate.

Uganda cannot afford to take cults lightly. On March 17 this year, a Ugandan cult, the Movement for Restoration of the Ten Commandments, caused the death in an inferno of 200 followers in a mass suicide in a church. Later, the death toll of followers rose to over 1,000 people after bodies were exhumed from the burnt-out church compound and the cult leaders' homes. The cult leaders have never been apprehended.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Jul 10, 2000
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