Manmin Central Church

Manmin Central Church is a Protestant Christian church founded in Seoul, South Korea in 1982 by Jaerock Lee and is one of the largest churches in Korea.[1] Manmin means ‘all creation; all the nations; all the people.’[2]

Manmin Central Church
Revised RomanizationManmin Chung'ang Kyohoi
McCune–ReischauerManmin Jung-ang Gyohoe

Manmin Central church claims that they have the largest number of churches in Korea,[3] and that they have 120,000 members throughout the world.[4]

Bishop Dr. Myong-Ho Cheong (Senior Pastor, Nairobi Manmin Holiness Church, Kenya)(L) and Ban Ki-moon(Secretary-General of the United Nations)(R)

Manmin Church publishes Manmin News Paper, Manmin Magazine and has a TV broadcasting station called GCN.

Christian activities

The church has organized a praise special orchestra entitled "Nissi".[5] Nissi is one of the most important ministries in the Manmin Church[6] and has been invited and performed in the National Breakfast Prayer Meetings, goodwill concerts at foreign embassies, and a variety of charitable events hosted by social and cultural organizations.[7]

Manmin church participated in various Korean Christian activities, including events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the division of Korea,[8] and the FIFA World Cup in 2002.[9]

In 1997, the church choir participated in Choir Festival in commemoration of Far East Broadcasting Company's 41st anniversary together with other churches.[10][11]

In 1998, the senior pastor of the church joined The Korea Lawyers Mission Association.[12] According to the Manmin News, the official newsletter of the church, 12 ambassadors to Korea partook in service at Manmin Central Church on March 7, 2010.[13]

The church has sent missionaries to the US, Japan, South America and Africa.[14]


The church was ejected from the Christian Council of Korea in April 1999 over a "heretical claim" allegedly made by Jaerock Lee in July 1998, when he stated that he was "sinless and exempted from dying".[15][16]

In 1999, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, a South Korean TV broadcaster, aired PD Note, a documentary program criticizing Jaerock Lee. Members of the Manmin Central Church forcibly entered the TV station and cut off the power supply in the control room, interrupting the programme several times. Meanwhile, other supporters, numbering between 1,500 and 2,000 according to different sources, blocked off nearby roads.[15][17][18] Manmin Central Church members later filed a lawsuit against the TV station.[19] Three church leaders and eight members of the church were sentenced to jail for between two and a half years and three years, for their roles in the protests.[20]

On November 22, 2018, Jaerock Lee was sentenced to 15 years in prison on 42 counts of sexual harassment and sexual assault against eight of his followers. According to the Seoul Central District Court, the victims could not resist his advances "due to their absolute faith in the infallibility of the accused."[21]


The Manmin Church claims to have more than 120,000 members[4] and 9,000 domestic and overseas branch churches throughout the globe, and has so far commissioned more than 103 missionaries to 22 countries, including the United States, Russia, Germany, Canada, Japan, China, France, India, Kenya. MMTC (Manmin Missionary Training Centre) was also established to provide cross-cultural training program and Ministry opportunities for world evangelism. In 1993, Manmin Central Church was selected as one of the “World's Top 50 Churches” by the Christian World magazine (US).[22][23]

Many celebrities such as former prime minister of Korea Han Duck-soo were invited to Manmin church's anniversary.[when?][24]


  1. ^ "South Korean Pastors Ready To Sacrifice Their Lives In North Korea",, October 8, 2008, retrieved October 17, 2013
  2. ^ "When Doors Open in No. Korea, So. Korean Christians 'Willing to be Martyred'", (Religion Today), April 8, 2008, retrieved April 8, 2008
  3. ^ "Manmin church celebrates anniversary", The Korea Herald, April 4, 2010, retrieved April 4, 2010
  4. ^ a b "Lee's books featured in Israel book fair", Korea Times, March 1, 2011, retrieved March 1, 2011
  5. ^ 믿음으로 찬양연주 "불러만 주세요", Kukmin Ilbo (in Korean), October 17, 1995, archived from the original on September 5, 2012, retrieved October 10, 2015
  6. ^ Корейското съживление, или как да правим грандиозно хваление и поклонение, Evangelski Vestnik (in Bulgarian)
  7. ^ '닛시오케스트라' 창단 14주년 맞아, Christian Today, April 3, 2006, retrieved April 3, 2006
  8. ^ "95민족통일 희년 대성회 지원"/「여성교역자 강사단」발대, December 2, 1993, archived from the original on August 4, 2012, retrieved October 10, 2015
  9. ^ 한·일 교계 "복음" 손잡았다/월드컵 공동개최 화해·용서 계기로, Kukmin Ilbo, August 29, 1996, retrieved October 10, 2015
  10. ^ "Churches gather "Hallelujah"", Yonhap News, November 15, 1997, retrieved July 13, 2011
  11. ^ "Choir Festival in Commemoration of 41st FEBC Anniversary", Kukmin Ilbo, November 19, 1997, retrieved July 13, 2011
  12. ^ "The Korea Lawyers Mission Association established", Kukmin Ilbo, October 12, 1998, archived from the original on August 4, 2012, retrieved July 13, 2011
  13. ^ "Ambassadors to Korea Partake in Service at Manmin Central Church", Manmin News, no. 175, March 21, 2010
  14. ^ "Korean culture embroidered Baltic sea with Korean traditional fan dance·costumes·Taekwondo", Wolgan Joongang (Monthly Joongang Magazine), February 3, 2011, archived from the original on July 13, 2011, retrieved February 3, 2011{{citation}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  15. ^ a b "Korean TV airs controversial documentary", BBC News, May 12, 1999, retrieved March 24, 2015
  16. ^ "S. Korean evangelist's Uganda visit prompts cult jitters", Asian Economic News, July 10, 2000
  17. ^ "Church members storm South Korean TV station", Agence France-Presse, May 12, 1999
  18. ^ "South Korea – Manmin Joongang Church – Reverend Jaerock Lee – Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation" (PDF),, February 20, 2007, retrieved May 17, 2022
  19. ^ "I met the mentor of my life", Sisa News, September 10, 2008, retrieved September 10, 2008
  20. ^ "Church officials given prison sentences for raiding TV station", Korea Herald, August 28, 1999
  21. ^ McKirdy, Euan; Kwon, Jake (November 22, 2018), "South Korean pastor who portrayed himself as 'God' sentenced to 15 years for rape", CNN
  22. ^ "Dr. Jaerock Lee's autobiography published in Brazil", Chosun Ilbo, February 18, 2011, retrieved February 18, 2011
  23. ^ "'My Life, My Faith' authored by Dr. Jaerock Lee published in Brazil", Newsis, February 18, 2011, archived from the original on July 14, 2011, retrieved February 18, 2011
  24. ^ 오직 믿음으로 걸어온 30년 신앙의 열매 (in Korean), archived from the original on October 11, 2014, retrieved August 11, 2014

External links