Evangelical Baptist Church of Korea

Connected to a mass suicide, the deaths of hundreds of children, and various financial schemes, yet the leader avoided prosecution thanks to his devoted followers

1962 - present

"We hope Yoo [leader] doesn't get arrested. A 100,000 followers will protect Yoo. Even if the entire congregation of 100,000 believers is arrested, we won't hand him over."-Church Spokesperson

The Evangelical Baptist Church of Korea has been connected to multiple atrocities, including the deaths of hundreds of children.

In 2014, 250 children were on board a sinking South Korean ferry. Trusting in the officials who told them to stay in place, they seemed unconcerned and filmed themselves joking around. However, as the children were waiting to be rescued, the captain and crew abandoned the ship, leaving the children to die. In the end, over 300 people were dead or missing, mostly children.

An investigation pointed toward Yoo Byung-eun, the founder of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Korea, who had previously been convicted of "habitual fraud under the mask of religion" and is also believed to have been connected to a mass suicide decades earlier. Like the mass suicide, the ferry's sinking also seemed to have been the direct result of Yoo's various financial schemes, which made him rich at the expense of church members and others.

However, even with a worldwide manhunt, Yoo escaped prosecution thanks to his followers, who went to great lengths to keep him hidden until he died. Today, the Evangelical Baptist Church of Korea carries on with tens of thousands of members.

Religion: Christianity

Denomination: Other

Founder: Yoo Byung-eun

Founded: 1962

Location: South Korea

Size: 20,000

Also called: Evangelical Baptist Church; Korean Evangelical Baptist Church (기독교복음침례회); Korean Evangelical Layman's Church; Salvation Sect

Offshoots: Paradise (Park Soon-ja )

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Footage from the inside of the sinking of the Sewol ferry (WARNING: this video contains disturbing imagery)