False Report About the WMSCOG in Mongolia
On Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 at 8:00 pm, the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) in Mongolia was part of a broadcast that aired throughout Mongolia. The report was aired through the broadcasting company TV-8.
In this occasion, the contents that were reported were totally fabricated and distorted. Below you can see for yourself the contents of the report.
“This Church, which is a strange religion, came to Mongolia and has expanded its congregation by preaching that the world is coming to an end. The Church urges its members to sell their properties like houses, and exploits them for their money. This Church threatens people by preaching about disasters all the time. The members can only communicate with other church members, not with other people, and they are kept in the Church until late hours, in this way they are not able to go home early.”
This broadcast was orchestrated by J. Minjin, a reporter with TV-8 Mongolia. Reporter Minjin showed up at the Ulaanbaatar WMSCOG in Mongolia together with her cameraman without prior notice. Upon her arrival, she said she wanted to report on how “this church is an incorrect denomination, which has come to Mongolia and its expanding by preaching.” She forced her way in an effort to get an interview that she could use for her already biased report.
The members of the WMSCOG in Mongolia asked for a meeting with the general manager of the broadcasting company. After the meeting, the general manager promised that they would not broadcast the report.
TV-8 in Mongolia Breaks Its Promise
TV-8 broke its promise to the WMSCOG in Mongolia and aired the report when the members of the church were keeping service. The behavior of the TV-8 broadcasting company and reporter J. Minjin is questionable. There are basic laws of ethics for journalism, one of them is that reporters should not overlook evidence, but always verify whether the source is credible and if the information being provided is true or false. News should be objective and truthful, and of course, the media has every right to observe and report when corruption and illegal acts are being practiced. However, such criticism should be based on facts, and not just on rumors. When the media outlets do their job correctly it benefits all the members of society, and they gain credibility in the public’s view. However, when they stray from the truth and only care about ratings, they create an atmosphere of anxiety on the viewers and unwholesome public opinion which deserves to be criticized by society.
The False TV-8 Report Causes Damage to the Members of the WMSCOG in Mongolia
The members of the WMSCOG in Mongolia suffered greatly due to the false report that was broadcasted by TV-8. The false report created religious discrimination on the church members; this discrimination came from relatives, friends, co-workers, and classmates. This discrimination was the result of the negative perception brought on the WMSCOG in Mongolia by the fabricated news report. This also infringed on the members’ freedom of religion and in some cases, due to the severe stress this situation brought, some members health deteriorated.
Members of the WMSCOG in Mongolia Bring Legal Action Against TV-8
The WMSCOG in Mongolia tried to communicate with TV-8 broadcasting and express the damaged caused by their fabricated report. The church tried to find a way to support the members who were affected the most by seeking a way of friendly communication in order to correct the false report; however, the news company refused to communicate. Ultimately, In October of 2011, 10 members of the WMSCOG in Mongolia, the ones who suffered the most took legal action against TV-8 broadcasting and the reporter J. Minjin. Although the members tried to remedy the situation through other methods the broadcasting company was not responsive. There was no other alternative, except seeking justice through the legal system.
The members of the WMSCOG in Mongolia gave a statement as follows:
“We have attended this Church [WMSCOG in Mongolia] for at least three to seven years, but we have never seen any of the problems that were aired on the news. The Church has never taught about disasters all of the time just to intimidate people into staying, nor has it forced anyone into selling their properties like houses and building because the end of the world is near, nor has it prevented us from speaking to non-members, nor has it forced us into staying in the Church until late hours of the night, nor has it caused pain to our family members, and finally it has not forced us to offer money to the Church.”
The report from TV-8 broadcasting ignored the basic ethics of journalism and produced a distorted report about the WMSCOG in Mongolia. This false report has caused inexpressible hardships on the members of the WMSCOG in Mongolia. The Church’s reputation was damaged due to the fabricated report and this has caused a negative influence on the members faith, their lives and created a negative impression of the Church on their families.
Reporter J. Minjin Fabricates More Reports to Suit Her Case
During the case which lasted from January to March of 2012, 30 different internet media companies in Mongolia, Canada, and the USA reported on the legal case. These reports created more rumors and even worse allegations spread out. The source of these fabricated rumors was the reporter J. Minjin, who was the defendant in the case. She gave false information to different news outlets in order to justify her behavior, and also in an effort to help her defense by manipulating the public opinion through the media.
The thirty reports that were put out contained the following fabricated allegations in their headlines:
“The Church of God threatened to kill reporter J. Minjin.”
“The Church of God insists the world will end in 2012.”
“Church members enter Premises of TV-8 Station Issuing Death Threats Against The Stations Staff.”
People who read the headlines and the contents of these articles left violent and discriminatory comments, not caring whether the contents of the articles were true or not. Some of the comments on these articles read as follows:
“Stupid Koreans, go away.”
“Koreans are bad. They are arrogant. Leave Mongolia.”
“You Koreans have become like ticks, making money using the name of the Holy Spirit.”
“This is an evil church, they should be shut down, thrown in jail, and get crucified.”
Through the comments of these individuals, we can see the type of hatred and discrimination that these fabricated reports bring on the Church and its members.
TV-8 Broadcasting Apologizes to the World Mission Society Church of God
On June 13, 2012, the CEO of TV-8 Broadcasting sent an official written apology to the World Mission Society Church of God in Mongolia. The letter read as follows:
“There was an error which took place as we did not have a detailed review of the news report about your organization that was broadcasted on the 8:00 pm news program aired on September 6, 2011. Thus, the employees, who reported our news in an irresponsible way, will be held responsible for their actions.”
TV-8 Broadcasting apologized and also agreed to air a report correcting their false news about the WMSCOG in Mongolia. They decided to do this due to the damage this fabricated report caused on the members of the Church. The members of the WMSCOG in Mongolia who filed a lawsuit against TV-8 and the reporter agreed to settle and drop the charges against TV-8. The Mongolian court dismissed the case on the 27th of June, 2012, on the basis of the settlement between the WMSCOG in Mongolia and TV-8 Broadcasting. It was also demanded by the court that all the legal fees associated with this case would be paid by TV-8 broadcasting station. In this instance, we can say that the World Mission Society Church of God in Mongolia won the case.
The Correction Report
On January 15th, 2013, TV-8 broadcasting aired a report correcting all the false accusations made against the WMSCOG in Mongolia. They apologized during the broadcast by saying the following:
“We, [TV-8] recently broadcasted an unconfirmed media report about the activities of the World Mission Society Church of God. We officially apologize to all the members and their families for defaming the Church because of a report based on one citizen’s tip alone.”
Watch The Full Correction Report
False Reports Come from Religious Discrimination
The false reports against the WMSCOG come from a handful of individuals who have a religious bias against the WMSCOG. To prove this point, take a look at what reporter J. Minjin said about the court’s decision:
“I do not agree with the plaintiffs [TV-8], nor am I willing to admit to their request. My broadcasting company manager required me to agree on the settlement, but I do not agree with it. According to the freedom of speech, a reporter does not take responsibility for any wrong contents which are broadcasted on the news or on a program; because every program is reported after being reviewed by a manager or person related to it. In this case, the defendant must solely be TV-8 broadcasting company. I understand and assent that TV-8 broadcasting company has agreed to this settlement. But, form my position, I do not concur with this settlement.”
Real facts are the basis of a news report and an article without truth creates negativity and intolerance. Like the reporter in the case above, other reporters have failed to follow basic ethics of journalism and they have written sensationalist articles based on the unverified testimony of a few individuals. These reporters promote religious discrimination and they fail to investigate as to whether the allegations made by others about the WMSCOG are true. This brings severe damage on the members of the WMSCOG and their families and incites religious persecution on the members of the Church.
Just like in Mongolia, in the United States, similar types of articles were written by two sources. People.com and the Bergen Record. It is believed that the reporter who created and co-authored these articles had an ulterior motive. As you can see in the articles below, a simple search would have shown how the allegations brought against the WMSCOG are false. However, this side was not presented in their articles.
The WMSCOG Will Continue Its mission of Spreading Gods Love Through Actions
The World Mission Society Church of God will overcome and continue the mission of sharing God’s love with mankind. The WMSCOG and its members will help their neighbors in need through good deeds, make every effort to protect the environment, participate in blood drives that save lives, and assist those who have suffered from a disaster. Preaching the gospel of the new covenant and sharing love with mankind, this is the mission of the World Mission Society Church of God.