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‘Soldiers of Christ’ Killing in Georgia Unsettles Korean Americans and Stokes Fears of Cults

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Just days into the admission process for Soldiers of Christ, Sehee Cho was faint and feeble.

The 33-year-old had come to the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville from South Korea in July to heal from a traumatic experience. Instead, police say, the Soldiers group led by two Korean American brothers held her captive for weeks, torturing and starving her until she died.

Officers discovered her decaying body, weighing just 70 pounds (32 kilograms), in September in the trunk of a car, and prosecutors have charged the brothers, their mom, a third brother and three others with murder.

The gory details — covered widely in Korean news outlets in the U.S. — have shocked the large Korean community in metro Atlanta. Community leaders say the case is a wake-up call for Korean Americans to be more vigilant about religious cults and potential threats to new arrivals from South Korea.

“It really kind of alerted people that we should not be so comfortable,” said Sarah Park, president of the Atlanta chapter of the Korean American Coalition.

The proximity of the slaying to the heart of Korean social and cultural life in the region was unsettling, she added.

The brothers and mother lived in a part of Gwinnett County dubbed “The Seoul of the South” for its abundance of Korean restaurants, bakeries, and other establishments. The car with Cho’s body was left in the parking lot of a popular Korean spa on a main thoroughfare in the Korean business district.

“Usually, Koreans are good people, so they don’t guard themselves or watch strangers,” said Sunny Park, a prominent Korean American businessman. “But now they will.”

Continue reading at ABC NEWS

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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