Religion or cult ?? HWPL Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light HWPL

The organization mention here is called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL). The man in the center is Lee Man-Hee, he is the cult founder and leader of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, I hope that helps Tony. thanks Easter 1611

Difference Between Religion and Cult One short definition of the difference between a religion and cult A religion is an old cult. A cult is a new religious movement.
A religion is a formal organised body who generally meet various criteria such as:

Belief in God (though not in the case of Buddhism)
Belief in importance of certain spiritual books as a source of spiritual truth. (Bible, Qu’ran, Bhagavad Gita)
A set of principles to guide living of members.
An established organisation, often with a hierarchy of priests
The concept of Religion invariably is associated with the main religions which have been in existence for 100s or 1000s of years. The main religions are:

Within these religions are many subdivisions of different religious branches e.g. within Christianity, we see, the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox and the various Protestant churches.


The term cult is hard to define. There was a time when cult was not a pejorative term but referred to a certain branch of religious devotion. For example, the Catholic church would allow the worship of a particular cult (of a certain saint) e.t.c

However, during the twentieth century, the term cult has become laden with negative and pejorative connotations. These negative associations can include ideas of ‘brainwashing’, conversion and abuse.

The term cult is often used to describe new religious movements or alternative religious movements by those who wish to stereotype the movement in a negative way. These new religious movements involve a wide diversity of different groups / movements / sects. But often involve:

A new spiritual movement,
Different teachings to established religions
Many scholars no longer use the term ‘cult’ except in the case of groups which exhibit extreme forms of manipulation and mind control such as the David Quresh.

However, concepts of what constitutes as mind control will differ depending on different perspectives.

For example, to become a monk / nun within a Catholic Church would involve giving up many outer freedoms and surrendering to the abbot / Mother Superior. To adherents they may feel that the surrendering of the individual ego necessary for a spiritual life which enables true freedom. To critics, this kind of outer and inner discipline involves ‘cultish’ behaviour. When new religious movements offer similar teachings, it is often claimed this is evidence of cultish behaviour. Though for established religions to practise such strict disciplines, the word cult is generally not used.



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