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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Korean woman killed in Atlanta was ‘injured in religious initiation ritual’

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Wounds discovered on the body of a Korean woman murdered near Atlanta appear to have been inflicted during a ritual tied to joining a religious group, according to police sources.

“We believe that the families of the victim and the suspects knew each other, and that the victim came to the United States in the middle of the summer. … We believe that most of these injuries, and most of what she endured, was a result of the initiation into the ‘Soldiers of Christ,’” Sergeant Michele Pihera, a spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County police, told NewsNow.

Investigators stated, “Five adults and a 15-year-old, identifying themselves as members of the “Soldiers of Christ” religious group, are currently in custody facing murder charges. This arrest followed the discovery of a woman’s body in the trunk of a car parked outside a renowned spa in Atlanta’s suburbs. We’re uncertain about the extent of this organization’s influence; however, as of now, its operations seem confined to a Lawrenceville basement. We’re probing into any other potential incidents or victims related to this case. We urge anyone with relevant information to step forward.”

In related news, Pastor Lee, alleged to be the father of three of the suspects, is an active member of the Atlanta Korean American Pastoral Association.

During a monthly congregation on September 18, several pastors advocated for Pastor Lee’s expulsion. They voiced concerns regarding the association with the contentious group, the Soldiers of Christ. A proposition was made to expel the pastor. However, the pastoral council decided to delay any action regarding Lee’s expulsion until more clarity is achieved about his potential heresy.

BY SUAH JANG    [jang.suah@koreadaily.com]