"He has a totalitarian power position"
Public prosecutor investigates against the head of the Bonn "University Bible Friendship" - educators, neighbors and members report on neglected and beaten children
By Von Dagmar Blesel, 01.10.2011
Bonn. Somewhat hidden, but conspicuous between the businesses is the huge bungalow. At main and side entrance signs: University Bible Friendship. Behind the walls, Korean and German members of the student organization University Bible Fellowship (UBF) meet regularly for events.
Head of the Bonn UBF is the Korean Peter Chang. And against the determined since autumn 2001, the prosecutor's office on suspicion of assault.
According to Andrew Schäfer, sect commissioner of the Protestant Church in the Rhineland, Chang is considered "a hardliner between loyalists and reformers of the UBF". Chang has for him a "totalitarian power position" in the Bonn community.
Already in the 80's rumors came up, UBF members neglected their children. The youth welfare office has been informed, Schäfer knows, there have also been investigations. However, results are unknown. The youth welfare office, as spokeswoman for the city administration assured on Friday, is well known to UBF. One meets the organization with "preventive measures", it was said to leave office.
In times of the Internet, reports Schäfer, reformists recently made this public, which until then should have taken place behind walls and not perceived by the general public. Regarding the reports, the sect commissioner says: "I consider them to be credible, because the claimant is in no case seeking a settlement with what they have left behind, for example, by leaving the country, but a serious effort to get the UBF from within to reform. "
On the Dortmund UBF homepage, a woman writes: "M. Peter is raising the children ... by force." When the child (meaning her son) whined outside the door, he struck the child at his feet the entire evening until it was He was exhausted and fell asleep on the ground, saying that he wanted to yield to it because the evil spirit had been expelled from him. "
And further: "The first son of Jacob and Sara ... often bumped his head out of boredom against the wall when his parents left him alone at home." That had become known to neighbors, and they would have reported to the police.
The authorities have been informed that one or the other time the police have been informed that children have been neglected - parents are busy with church services, Bible study, meetings and written reports.
A police spokesman told the GA that citizens had told a district official that children were not dressed properly according to the season. It had been winter and the children were running around barefoot or with shorts.
Kindergarten teachers also confirm this. They have discovered that until one or two years ago children of the UBF walked around in soiled clothing for a whole week. When a child once came to the kindergarten very ill, the educators tried in vain to inform the parents.
Finally, they reached Chang, and "after many urges," the child had been picked up after two hours. Although this has become better, but the kindergarten teachers still speak of behavioral problems of children: "They scream, are aggressive."
Neighbors of UBF members also noticed, "The children are scared, disturbed in their development." The neighbors even saw that children in the garden had to stand "for 20 minutes while Chang watered the lawn". One girl once told them in tears that "Grandpa Peter" had hit her hands with a stick.
The kindergarten teachers also report about beatings. The children's stories are "absolutely believable, they have described so many details". Among other things, parents even said that if the child was disobedient then it would have to be beaten. Physical traces of violence in the children, however, they would not have seen.
On the subject of violence, the UBF homepage states: "In many respects, M. Peter cares very carefully for all the children of the employees, but the children learn to obey him more than their parents." When he warned his son not to hit his sister on the head, all he would have said was that M. Peter would have allowed him to give the girl pecking if it disobeyed him.
The state prosecutor did not want to comment on the status of the ongoing proceedings "for reasons of determination tactics". Neither Chang's lawyer Stefan Hiebl: "I make no statement." And the Korean (Chang) himself was out of the GA. Also on repeated ringing on Thursday evening was not opened, although visible and audible life in the bungalow was. "He's not there right now," said one UBF employee who cycled to the center.