Christian Gospel Mission: Petition Submitted to President Yoon Seok-yeol

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Ahead of the First Trial Verdict of Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok, a Petition for a Fair and Just Trial and for the Eradication of Fake News

Request to Allow Resumption of [the Trial’s] Argument [Phase]

Photo: Delivering the petition papers to the presidential office officials

[Korea Daily reporter, Kim Byeong-hoon]

After the Netflix documentary “In the Name of God” aired, and after suffering tremendous damage due to over 10,000 biased news reports regarding Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok, who was arrested on charges of quasi-rape and is facing the first trial verdict, the Christian Gospel Mission (commonly known as JMS) submitted petition papers to President Yoon Seok-yeol for a fair and just trial regarding the lawsuit against Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok and for the eradication of fake news.

On the 16th at 3 p.m., in front of the Yongsan Presidential Office, a petition submission ceremony was held, along with a rally of about 500 members of the Christian Gospel Mission. The event was organized by the Christian Gospel Mission Congregation Council.

For the last three months since October, the Christian Gospel Mission started a petition signature campaign, not only in various parts of Korea but also around the world. Already on October 17th, they submitted 200,000 petitions to the Presidential Office and the Supreme Court. Fueled by this, activities are also underway to spread the 30 principles of Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok’s teachings on the streets.

At the rally, Kim Deok-hyun, the chairman of the Pan-Religious and Non-Denominational Council, who read a plea to the president, stated, “Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok is the biggest victim of fake news,” and urged, “Please verify the truth through a thorough investigation of the anti-JMS activists and CGM opposition forces, as well as the MBC broadcasting company who have spread fake news and have falsely accused and instigated lawsuits against Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok and Christian Gospel Mission.”

Photo: Rally scene in front of the presidential office

According to the petition, MBC, the production company of “In the Name of God,” spliced female moaning sounds into the voice recordings of Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok and the complainant, and showed false subtitles, manipulating the broadcast to seem like a sexual assault scene. Furthermore, they used a body double as a sexual assault victim without indicating her as a stand-in actor, leading viewers to mistakenly believe it was factual.

There is also the claim that since the airing of “In the Name of God,” the trial of Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok had shifted from being a fair trial based on evidence to a trial by public opinion. It is known that the court had initially maintained a balanced stance but changed its position after “In the Name of God” was aired, and Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok has reportedly been continuously subjected to procedural unfairness.

In response, the Christian Gospel Mission filed a motion for recusal of the first trial judge on July 17th. However, even as Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok’s main trial was suspended due to the recusal motion, the court hastily proceeded with the trials of the female executives who were detained as accomplices, and in October, they each received sentences ranging from 1 year and 6 months to 7 years. Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok’s first trial was later resumed, and on November 21st, the prosecution demanded a severe sentence of 30 years.

A Christian Gospel Mission representative stated, “As a citizen of South Korea, Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok should receive a fair trial, not one skewed by public opinion or religious bias.” They added, “Until Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok’s innocence is proven, we will employ all legitimate means to seek compensation for physical and psychological damages and to restore his tarnished reputation.” The first trial sentencing for Pastor Jeong Myeong-seok is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on the 22nd at the Daejeon District Court.

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