7 Doomsday Cult Members Found Dead

The Daily Telegraph (London)/October 5, 1998

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Seven doomsday cult members were found burned to death Monday in what police believe was a group suicide.

The seven, identified by police as members of the Youngsang (everlasting life) Church, were found burned beyond recognition in a mini-van on the east coast.

``It appears to be a religious suicide pact,'' Kim Bong-yon, a senior police investigator, told MBC-TV.

Police, quoting relatives, said the doomsday cult leader, Woo Jong-min, 57, left his home in Seoul in July with six followers, saying that they were embarking on an everlasting journey.

The cult teaches its followers that when they die, they will live a new, happy life in heaven.

Note: "While the church's membership has declined rapidly in recent years, its promises of eternal life for the souls of members once attracted thousands of devotees. Police said [the group was only one] of the dozens of doomsday cults active in South Korea".

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