Mainstream Christians attack religious 'cult'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 July, 1996, 12:00am

Mainstream Christian churches have branded the Church of Zion a cult and its leader, Leung Yat-wah, a teacher of false doctrines.

In another move to further isolate the controversial group that teaches its 1,800 followers to drink hydrogen peroxide, more than 10 Protestant churches in northern New Territories called a special meeting to denounce Mr Leung's religious teachings.

Last night, about 400 churchgoers prayed for the souls of Mr Leung's followers and called on them to return to the flock.

Pastor Lee Hoi-ping, speaking for the Northern Regional Fellowships of Christian Pastors, said Mr Leung had turned his personal beliefs into 'absolute truth', misleading his followers and endangering their lives.

'We have been concerned with this particular church for a long time, especially since June, when it was discovered that Leung started to encourage his people to drink hydrogen peroxide,' he said.

The Reverend Tsang Shing-kei, of the Assembly of God - Chapel of Praise, said unlike traditional churches, Mr Leung did not emphasise doctrines but instead made use of cunning oratory on audio-video tapes to appeal to young people.

'This is why in a little more than 10 years, they have attracted so many people,' he said.

The denouncement came just two days after the Hong Kong True Church, where Mr Leung started his religious career, branded the Church of Zion heretical.

And on Friday, Health Department officials urged the police to investigate the church's sales of hydrogen peroxide to its followers, while the Social Welfare Department announced that anyone who fed the chemical to children could be prosecuted for child abuse.