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Cape Town - Students who are part of a South Korean-founded church, the World Mission Society Church of God, say they fear for their lives following threats to “hunt them down”.

A WhatsApp group called “Hunting God Mother Down” is circulating messages such as: “Any male figure at UJ whose interest in hunting this God Mother down @ Campus Square. DM me the keyword God Mother Ill send you Whatsapp link chat where we can meet and strategize”.

Weekend Argus has seen a screenshot of the messages.

World Mission Society Church of God member Kusile Kewana said the church now feared for the wellbeing of its members on the UJ campus.

“Our students are victimised for preaching on campus. We fear that, in light of all that has taken place on campuses against women in August, our students might be harmed due to the rumours that are circulating about our church,” said Kewana.

Kewana said that church members preached about a concept called “God the Mother” and the church believed in God the Father and God the Mother and keeping the New Covenant according to the Bible.

The leader of the church in Johannesburg, Jacob Kang, approached the Brixton police station, but was informed that he could not open a case because no harm has come to their members yet.

“Jacob Kang was informed that we can only open a case when there is physical evidence of assault,” said Kewana.

Johannesburg police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo told the Weekend Argus that a case of intimidation should have been opened and he had advised the leader to revisit the police station.

UJ SRC secretary Mxolisi Ngwenya said they were not aware of such a group being created and there was calm at the university with regard to the church members.

Last week the Weekend Argus reported that Stellenbosch students were fearful after allegedly being approached by members of the church.

Lesley-Ann Damons, a member of the World Mission Society Church of God, denied these claims.

“Our members are just preaching the word of God. They would never surround a student or ask to pick them up. All our university members have a schedule which they follow.”

The World Mission Socirty Church of God was formed in 1964 by Ahn Sahng-hong, who died in 1985.

It has grown rapidly since its beginning and has a presence in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, North America and South America.

The church has attracted controversy with former members accusing it of activities similar to those of a cult.

Weekend Argus