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  • Writer's pictureEric Navas

UBF's media statement

Yes UBF has made a media statement. The one that was archived below was made in January 25, 2005 in response to a TV report done on Columbus UBF:

This article is just the transcript of the media statement. An analysis and breakdown will be down in a future video.

Here is the media statement:

UBF Media statement, January 25, 2005:

UBF college student ministry started in Korea in 1961 and has sent over 1,500 missionaries to over 80 nations of the world. Currently it is one of the largest evangelical student movements in Korea and is an active member in many larger missionary and church groups there.

In North America, UBF missionaries started arriving in the early 1970's and engaged in cross-cultural evangelism with college students. But because the ministry was led by Koreans, there was much suspicion and misunderstanding. Some thought UBF was the same as Unification Church. In the mid-1980's, the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) began to assemble a file on UBF. A number of student newspapers in various places where UBF missionaries were active ran stories saying UBF ministry was cult-like. However, most of these stories were based on interviews with students who left the ministry. A local newspaper in Winnipeg, Canada also ran a series of stories about UBF ministry there. A book called Churches That Abuse by Ron Enroth included a chapter on UBF based on an interview with a former UBF member; no effort was made to verify the stories or to interview UBF leadership. Another evangelical scholar, Ruth Tucker, who came and visited UBF leadership, objects to this. About 20 years ago, some former UBF members were forcelbly kidnapped by their parents and "deprogrammed" at a place called Wellspring in Ohio. These events were orchestrated by the CAN organization. The "deprogramming" involved showing the UBF members videos of cult organization practices and convincing the person that UBF was one of them, along with much persuasion from family members.

Most of the attacks on UBF ministry have been based either on blatant racial prejudice against Koreans or misunderstanding of their culture. And most of the reports about UBF have been an assembly and rehashing of all the above, with little to no further investigation.

When UBF members have appeared before the media to defend our ministry, we have been cornered to answer questions that insinuate that we are a cult, and what has been said has been taken out of context. Thus we are reluctant to give media interviews.

Since the year 2000 a group called "Rescue UBF" has worked very hard to discredit our ministry, utilizing the internet--with a website, chat room, mass emailings, demonstrations at our large events, etc. The people in this group are mostly former UBF members who are angry and bitter at us for various reasons. They assemble all available material and give it to people who have questions about us. It is grossly slanted, full of misrepresentations , half-truths and some blatant lies. These are people we loved dearly, respected, and in some cases, worked closely with. We are very sorry that they do this, but we choose not to fight with them. Of course, since we are all human, we make mistakes. We sin. But we try to live by faith in the grace of God and we try to obey him. We also humbly acknowledge that God's spirit is at work among us. We try to obey our Lord Jesus Christ's command to love one another, to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. (Jn 13:34; Mt5:44). Other mainline evangelical organizations are also attacked. The internationally respected Dr. Billy Graham has been accused of being a cult leader and there are protests at his organization's events. Throughout history Christians have been persecuted, sometimes by others who call themselves "Christian."

UBF is an evangelical student organization. We believe the Bible is the word of God and that Jesus is the only Savior. We try to obey the Bible teachings and teach students to do so also. We strive to live pure lives, to have integrity, and to do what is right before God and man. We pray for all the people of the world. We are especially praying for people in the Muslim world to hear the good news of Jesus, and that we can send missionaries there. We regularly give substantial offerings for relief work around the world--in North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq and for the recent victims of the Asian tsunami. We identify ourselves with the larger Body of Christ throughout the world. Our services and Bible studies are open to the public, and all are welcome. We humbly thank God that many young people's lives have been greatly blessed through our ministry, whether they choose to remain with us or go on to other churches and ministries to serve God there.

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