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W A S NEWS. Basic information Aids to argumentation Recommendations for action. In the midst of ideological diversity. chauungen. elt


1 W A S eltnauungen NEWS Special edition 3 The apologetic information service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria Evangelical orientations in the midst of ideological diversity Basic information Aids to arguments Recommendations for action

2 Imprint Editor of WAS NEWS: Working Group Apologetics of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria Place of publication: Munich Editor: Bernd Dürholt, Dr. Haringke Fugmann, Dr. Matthias Pöhlmann, Manuel Ritter Print: Medienhaus Blue Letter, Kronach Edition of the print edition: 3000 ISSN (Print) ISSN (Online) X ViSdP: Bernd Dürholt, Landwehrstraße 15 Rgb., Munich, editorial information: You can find further information on in the main part of the Bavarian edition .

3 Preface Dear Readers, Today it seems that developments are accelerating more and more, also in the field of world views and apologetics. In the past, it might have been sufficient to classify individual groups as sects on a permanent basis. However, in the course of the sixth, completely revised and expanded edition of the Handbook Religious Communities and World Views from 2006, it became clear that the religious and ideological landscape has been changing ever faster since then. The aforementioned standard work had to appear in a completely new revision as early as 2015. Since then, the dynamics of change seem to have increased: Constantly new movements and previously completely unknown phenomena have to be described and critically assessed. New phenomena such as Sozo, Eastern Lightning, Biodanza or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster arouse curiosity due to their bizarre names. It makes people sit up and take notice that groups such as Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion are also mentioned. Conversely, so-called de-sparking processes can also be observed anew, where certain groupings, which for a long time were considered to be part of the classical sects as a matter of course, now come into focus for the church as ecumenical partners. The Bavarian regional part of this orientation guide, which is to be constantly expanded, takes a wide variety of ideological and religious currents and groups into account, as can be found in the area of ​​the ELKB in particular. It would like to give a quick overview of individual religious communities and movements and at the same time offer an assessment from the Christian Oberkirchenrat Michael Martin licher point of view. The authors of the articles are the regional church commissioner for sect and ideology issues, Dr. Matthias Pöhlmann, the regional church representative for religious and spiritual currents, Dr. habil. Haringke Fugmann, and the head of the advice center for new religious movements in Evangelical Lutheran. Deanery District Munich, Mr. Dipl. Religionspäd. (FH) / Dipl. Social Pedagogue (FH) Bernd Dürholt. I would like to express my thanks to the three of them for their work. I combine it with the hope that the descriptions and analyzes presented will find attentive readers in church parishes and institutions, in schools and training centers! Senior Church Councilor Michael Martin Head of Department C Ecumenism and Church Life Evang.-Luth. Regional Church Office, Munich

4 Contents of the regional section Foreword by Senior Church Councilor Michael Martin 3 Introduction to the regional section 6 Introduction Church ideology work in stormy times 7 1 New Christian movements 1.1 Hillsong International Christian Fellowship / ICF Sozo Tongues / Glossolalia / Prayer in languages ​​18 2 Religious communities of Christian origin 2.1 Church of God of the World Mission Association Johannische Kirche Church of Almighty God / Eastern Lightning Organic Christ Generation / Anti-Censorship Coalition / / Ivo Sasek 26 3 Esoteric world views and offers 3.1 Biodanza Friedensweg / Hambacher Kulturverein Litios Lichtkristall Reiki 34 4 Fascination of the dark and mysterious 4.1 Obsession and Exorcism Halloween Spook 40 5 Spirituality of Asian Origin 5.1 Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Amma / Mata Amritanandamayi Devi / Embracing the World Hatha Yoga 46

5 Content of the regional section 6 Offers for life support and self-optimization 6.1 May Peace Prevail On Earth International / Goi Peace Foundation Side and front organization of the Scientology organization 50 7 Facets of religious distance 7.1 Bund für Geistes Freiheit Bayern, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster 54 8 Conspiracy thinking, theories and -belief 8.1 Conspiracy belief in the corona crisis lateral thinking initiative 58 9 ideological currents 9.1 Anastasia movement Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion Shamanism in this country 64 Evangelical advice and information centers in Bavaria 66 The authors of the orientation aid (regional section) 70 Contents of the main part 72 WAS- News published so far 74 events 76 Bibliography 78

6 Introduction There are currently 13 million people living in the Free State of Bavaria. 6.4 million belong to the Roman Catholic Church and 2.32 million belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church. There are also members of various Orthodox churches and traditional free churches, but also evangelical and Pentecostal charismatic groups. A third of the total population in the Free State is not denominational. According to estimates, Muslims and Jews live in Bavaria. There is also a large number of different religious and ideological groups, movements and offers. Their number is particularly high in the conurbations of Erlangen, Nuremberg, Fürth and Munich. But there are also new religious providers and centers in other regions. At the same time, the number of those who are not religiously bound is growing. The Bavarian regional section of this guide, which is constantly being expanded, takes into account different ideological and religious currents and groups. He wants to give a quick overview of individual religious communities and movements and an assessment from a Christian point of view. The authors of the articles published in the regional section are the regional church commissioner of the Evangelical Lutheran Church for spiritual and religious currents, the regional church commissioner for sect and ideological issues, the head of the advice center for new religious movements in the dean's office in Munich, the dean's commissioner for worldview issues and experts * inside for worldview questions from the ecumenical movement. The editors 6 Evangelical orientation aid / regional part Bavaria

7 Introduction Church Weltanschauung work in stormy times Introduction: a case of advice from practice An employee of a youth welfare office calls a church Weltanschauung representative. The question is whether a foster family can adopt the child who lives with them. The foster family wants to emigrate abroad in the medium term, where they stick to a neo-Charismatic church that is based on a theology of the prosperity gospel and carries out public exorcisms. The decision on adoption is made by the family court; The task of the ecclesiastical ideology commissioner is to provide the youth welfare office with information about the religious and ideological background of the church in question. The world we live in The more options we have in everyday life, the more we are forced to choose. So far there has even been talk of a compulsion to heresy (Peter L. Berger), because the ancient Greek word haíresis literally means choice. But this also increases the likelihood of making the wrong decision. Many also fear that they could miss something important by making a wrong decision (FOMA, i.e. Fear Of Missing Out). The keywords pluralization and individualization indicate that the individual today has more and more opportunities to shape his or her own life, but quite a few people feel overwhelmed by this. Today, many people are free to choose (at least in theory) what to wear, what to eat, where to live, what job they do and what social contacts they want to maintain, but they could just as easily have made the wrong decision. The same applies to the area of ​​religious, spiritual, political and other world views. This makes every possibility that people in the option society (Michael Domsgen) can decide on, more fragile or more fragile, and the world appears more and more complex or confusing. People are suddenly faced with the question of whether a decision they made yesterday will still be viable tomorrow. While in the past you usually remained focused on your own decisions, views and opinions for a longer period of time, people today change their attitudes and world views much more easily and more frequently. This is accompanied by an increasing indecision and uncertainty with regard to religious issues. At the same time, in late modernity in the risk society (Ulrich Beck), the production of affluent goods in the context of a global, consumer-oriented capitalism creates more and more risks, such as unemployment, mass migration, radioactivity, environmental destruction, species extinction, global warming, and the release of pandemic pathogens through the progressive destruction of wildlife habitats etc. The feeling of an increasing threat situation in turn mobilizes national and nationalist aspirations and fuels conspiracy ideologies that want to compensate for the feeling of one's own powerlessness. At the same time, the way people in the media society form an opinion about the world in which they live and interact with others is changing. In addition to fixed face-to-face encounters, networking in social media and in virtual spaces is now commonplace. Private and professional matters are becoming more and more intertwined (example from home office). Knowledge base is growing steadily, but information is never complete- Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Part Bavaria 7

8 Introduction and because of their abundance they can no longer be comprehensively understood and taken into account. Opinions and moods often have more influence on people's decisions and actions than facts. Narratives often guide the action more than careful considerations. For many people what they see has a more convincing effect than what they read, and the question of truth is increasingly being replaced by the question of pragmatic use and aesthetic stimulus. The digitization of the world is accelerating the pace of experience and the pressure to succeed economically. Big data, i.e. the massive accumulation of personal and biometric data about people and of numbers about their emotions, character traits and habits via social media for the purpose of their even more cost-effective and precise economic and political influence (micro targeting) through targeted promotion and insulting of the human narcissism with the intention of perpetuating and intensifying their digital engagement leads to people increasingly staying in echo chambers and filter bubbles and the polarization and brutalization of society increasing. At the same time, people rely on so-called artificial intelligence when making more and more decisions in everyday life, although these can prove to be useful in some areas, for example in traffic, logistics or medicine. As exciting as the global communication possibilities associated with digitization are, it has so far not been foreseeable how the contradictory, paradoxical and mysterious of human existence, in short: the human soul, can live in it in the long term. The role of the religious Traditional religious explanations and explanations for how the world works (how it came about, why the powerful are allowed to have power at all, what makes people sick, etc.) have lost their persuasiveness in the modern age, while religious ideas and practices in the sense of a popular spirituality (Hubert Knoblauch) become more and more individual and independent of given beliefs, make use of ever more diverse religious and ideological sources and traditions and mix more and more. The late modern era itself proves to be religiously productive (Hans-Joachim Höhn): The increasing increase in prosperity and the accompanying, progressive destruction of nature are increasingly endangering survival itself. It has long been clear that this danger can only be caused by the instruments of rationality and functional differentiation that caused this threat in the first place can no longer be averted. This makes other search movements that go beyond reason, also religious, spiritual, esoteric and others increasingly interesting. The processes of sacralization (Hans Joas), which have shaped human coexistence for thousands of years, continue to have a different effect in late modernity: people have always tended to share what has unfathomable power over their lives, as it were Dignity of the holy endow. You could also say: you idealize it. They idealize their own collectives (their family, tribe, people, nation, etc.), they idealize their rulers (from ancient kings to presidents of the 21st century), and they idealize themselves (which is why they are can manipulate particularly well by instrumentalizing their narcissism). While these sacralization processes in the past were mainly interpreted in terms of religious horizons of meaning (for example by pretending and also 8 Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Part Bavaria

9 Introduction believed that a king was divinely authorized), today they predominantly take place in non-religious settings. But that does not change the fact that people continue to idealize and exaggerate what has a mysterious power over them (from love to digitization). The churches as organized forms of religion have been losing importance and binding force for some time and in some regions (especially in Europe) they are only one actor among many in the struggle for attention, leisure time and financial support. In organizational terms, religion is dwindling in this country, while people continue to experience transcendence as described, celebrate rituals, reflect on their beliefs and try to conform to their beliefs in everyday life. What church ideology work does Apologetics originally referred to the art of answering questions of faith and at the same time defending faith against attacks. This respondent, d. H. the attitude towards the other person and responding to his questions is still fundamental to the church's work of world view as a fundamental area of ​​church action. In the late modern era, apologetics can be understood as a heterogeneity competence, i. H. as the ability to deal with differences: it is about perceiving and understanding the other or the other in his or her otherness without appropriating him or her, naming, classifying and assessing differences, adhering to one's own claim to truth and at the same time being ready to learn and open to dialogue be. Plurality and complexity are normal today, church apologetics helps to deal with it productively. Accordingly, the individual contributions in the present working aid follow the same structure, which is now understandable due to what has been stated so far: It is about perception, content, assessments and recommendations for action. This makes it clear in a simple way what the church's ideology work is generally entrusted with. The relevance of church apologetics can be illustrated in three ways. First, it can (following Alfred Schütz's concept of relevance) improve the perception, interpretation and design of the world: It helps, as explained, to see religious, spiritual, political and other ideological phenomena first, to interpret them and then to use the knowledge gained productively. We know from everyday life that something is relevant to us when we perceive it, understand it and can do something with it. The same principle can be applied to ecclesiastical apologetics, and the present working aid illustrates very concretely what it is all about. Secondly, from a cognitive psychological point of view, the more relevant the greater the positive effect and the lower the effort that has to be expended for it. A simple example from everyday life can make this clear: if you want to buy a new computer, the model most relevant for you will usually be that which brings the best features (positive effect) and is as cheap and easy to get as possible (lower expense). Transferred to the church ideology work: With relatively little effort (two state church representatives with full-time positions for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria as a whole, Evangelical orientation aid / regional part Bavaria 9

10 Introduction a representative with part-time position for the Evang.-Luth.Deanery Munich), very positive effects are achieved: A large number of requests for advice, pastoral care and information are processed, continuous training and further education are offered for the dean's world view officers spread across Bavaria and other interested parties, subject-specific publications are issued (such as this working aid ) and the cooperation with the Roman Catholic colleagues in the world view work is extremely constructive. Thirdly, apologetics supports the work in a very specific way on site and in real and virtual space: by far the most frequent use is made of the specialist knowledge and competence of the church's ideology officers by private individuals in the areas of pastoral care and counseling. Church worldview work continues to support pastors and congregations in their local service (with information, advice and very practical issues, such as questions about the allocation of rooms), teachers in the local schools in the preparation and implementation of their lessons (apologetic topics are important Contents of the curricula), has an impact on the local community via adult education centers and on the regional public via the press, radio and local television and on the global public via social media. In addition, there are inquiries from non-church social actors, such as youth welfare offices and other authorities, but also from companies. The sphere of activity of church apologetics is by far not only the church itself, but rather the whole of society. Here she bears testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ in her own way. Current Issues In recent years and decades, many issues that were previously dealt with intensively in church ideology work, such as occultism, Jehovah's Witnesses or Scientology, have lost none of their topicality, but contemporary religious and ideological culture has become much more complex in the meantime. Many new and important topics have been added to the portfolio of church apologetics. This regional section, together with the main section of the Evangelical Orientations in the issue for Bavaria, gives a small insight into the broad spectrum of relevant topics. Very current phenomena such as conspiracy ideologies relating to the corona pandemic or climate protection movements from an ideological point of view are also taken into account. With this in mind, we wish all readers an exciting and profitable read! Haringke Fugmann 10 Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria

11 Evangelical orientations In the midst of ideological diversity Basic information Aids to arguments Recommendations for action

12 New Christian Movements 1.1 Hillsong Perceptions A group of young people celebrates at a lake in Munich. The mood is exuberant. The pastor of the Hillsong congregation is standing in the water and is supported by another person. Between them, a person is baptized in the lake by immersion and to the cheers of those present. At the end of July 2020, Munich newspapers headlined (here tz): FC Bayern: David Alabas Pastor [Hillsong] christened defense jewel Chris Richards. Again and again young people tell of exciting church services with lively music and appealing sermons in unusual places. Contents The son of the former Salvation Army officer William Francis Houston, Brian Houston ("Global Senior Pastor"), founded the Hills Christian Life Center in Australia in 1983 together with his wife Bobbie Houston ("Co Senior Pastor"). Since 1999 this has been called Hillsong Church. Hillsong is one of the so-called mega-churches in Australia. Brian Houston was President of the Assemblies of God in Australia from 1997 to 2009, which was renamed the Australian Christian Churches under his chairmanship in 2007. He left Houston with Hillsong the church federation. Hillsong is now a global church, so the reasoning. As such, it sees itself at the interface between Christianity and culture. Next to the church is Hillsong et al. made famous by worship music, Hillsong United, Hillsong International Conferences, Hillsong College, Hillsong Channel TV and social activities such as Because We Can and Color Sisterhood. Hillsong says it has branches in 30 countries. The "Lead Pastors Germany" Freimut and Joanna Haverkamp are based in Constance. From here the foundings in Düsseldorf, Zurich, Munich as well as Köln Connect and Wien Connect came about. Another church is in Berlin. According to the Munich campus pastor Jan Kohler (2017), unmarried couples and homosexuals living together are excluded from leading the small groups. Hillsong Germany (not Hillsong Berlin) is a member of the Bund Freikirchlicher Pfingstgemeinden (BFP). Hillsong represents a gospel of prosperity and claims to be a contemporary Christian church. The Creed says: We believe that we must be baptized with water and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in order to live the holy and fruitful life God intended for us. The Holy Spirit enables us to use our spiritual gifts, including prayer in tongues. The baptism of confession is practiced. Christians baptized as children can be baptized again on request. According to Jan Kohler (interview in 2017), the practice of spiritual gifts (including healing and deliverance service, i.e. exorcism) is mainly to be found in small groups. These have a special role in Hillsong. An in-house guide for small group leaders in the Hillsong Leadership Network states: Just as in the early Church, home small group meetings are central to the life of Hillsong Church. Through small groups, we fulfill a crucial part of the model of our church: A LARGE CHRIST-CENTERED, BIBLE-BASED CHURCH, WHICH REACHES AND INFLUENCES THE WORLD, CHANGES THINKING AND ENABLES PEOPLE TO DO IT, IN EACH 12 Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria

13 New Christian Movements TO LEAD AND INFLUENCE THE AREA OF YOUR LIFE! THIS MISSION IS REALIZED BY OUR CAMPUS, A NETWORK OF SMALL GROUPS THAT CUT THROUGH THE WHOLE CITY, SPIRITUAL MINISTRIES THAT SUPPORT US, AND DIVINE SERVICES THAT WE ARE OUTSIDE OUR CAMPUS. (Large print in the original) As a meeting point, the church on the weekend and the small group on the other days have priority. But this social form seems to play a special role not only for community building. It also offers the possibility of collecting church-relevant statistics: Our efficient web-based reporting system will help you to guide the people in your small group. We can use it to get an idea of ​​how healthy the groups are by tracking how many people are there, they are given pastoral support, their contact details are kept up-to-date and the amount of the sacrifices is documented. Assessments In terms of language, the intensive use of Anglicisms in the German-speaking communities is initially noticeable. Rousing music and a highly professional use of new media create the impression of a church of the 21st century. The moral concepts conveyed, according to which premarital and extramarital sexual intercourse as well as practiced homosexuality are regarded as sin, stand in stark contrast to the external, modern appearance. The outstanding importance of the baptism of the spirit, without which true Christianity according to Hillsong's understanding is not possible, testifies to a Pentecostal-exclusive understanding. Theological problem is the devaluation of infant baptism and the practice of rebaptism. This fails to recognize the uniqueness of God's act of grace. For Christians who were baptized as children, this can mean exclusion from their church of origin. The overemphasis on the conscious decision to believe in rebaptism is not conclusive, because God's gracious anticipation is thus subordinate to one's own decision of conscience. The special importance of the small groups is to be assessed critically. The close ties during the week to like-minded people in the small groups can lead to neglect of social contacts outside of Hillsong. If the church is added as a priority on the weekend, the bond becomes even more intense. Recommendations for action Regular participation in church services or other offers from Hillsong may be emotionally rousing, but can also lead to conflicts (with regard to moral concepts, the understanding of baptism, social and family relationships). If a rebaptism is being considered, one should be aware of the consequences under canon law (self-exclusion from the church of origin). Where young people talk about their experiences at Hillsong in families, youth work or in religious education classes, it is advisable to talk to them about fascination and problem reports. In the case of double membership, a clarifying discussion must be held. Further information Hempelmann, Reinhard: Ten years of Hillsong congregations in Germany. In: EZW Material Service, 12/2014, 467 f. Bernd Dürholt / Haringke Fugmann Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria 13

14 New Christian Movements 1.2 International Christian Fellowship / ICF Perceptions Time and again, young people in schools, universities or circles of friends tell of exciting church services with dynamic music and appealing sermons in unusual places. When asked, they find out that this is a celebration of the ICF. At Easter and Whitsun 2020, ICF was significantly involved in the Germany pray together campaign in the corona pandemic. In Advent 2020, Tobias Teichen (ICF Munich) was jointly responsible for the "Re-experience Christmas 24x" campaign together with Johannes Hartl (Augsburg Prayer House) and others. Contents In 1990, Heinz Strupler invited people to worship worship services in Zurich under the title International Christian Fellowship. Several congregations grew out of this and he handed over the reins to Leo Bigger. Churches were planted in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and other countries. There are currently around 100 churches and start-ups, 28 of them in Germany. Leo Bigger and his wife Susanna are Senior Pastors of the ICF Zurich and lead the ICF Movement. In addition to the Bigger couple, the management committee of the Movement includes: the Executive Leader, the National Leaders Austria and Switzerland and the National Leaders Germany, Tobias and Frauke Teichen. The latter are lead pastors of the ICF Munich, which was founded in 2004. ICF Munich includes ICF Augsburg, ICF Freising and the start-up Passau. Another Bavarian ICF church has its seat in Nuremberg. ICF is characterized by a distinctive corporate identity and the outstanding role of Leo Bigger. Both of these were made clear on the website until mid-November 2020: The link Our Vision on the websites of the locations in Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg or Zurich, for example, referred to the same page on which Leo Bigger raised the attention-demanding hand in the header with his eyes closed. (In the meantime, the page has been revised, i.e. the picture has been replaced.) According to the company's own information, in 2019, for example, people attended a celebration in Munich and the associated locations, people met in 144 small groups (see below) and 78 team groups. 88 people were baptized. 3.98 million euros in donations were received. ICF wants to be a non-denominational church that has its finger on the pulse, creative, innovative and sometimes a little crazy! In 2016, the then local pastor of Munich, Sebastian Wohlrab, who inter alia. Studied theology for teaching, ICF in a conversation as a Church in the spirit of the Confessio Augustana The main focus of ICF are the celebrations (church services), which z. B. take place in a club room, cinema or indoor stadium. Celebrations stand out thanks to their exterior shape, designed with the help of modern technology, and the pop to rock praise music. A younger audience is addressed, even if older people are to be found. Infant baptism is not practiced. When it comes to understanding baptism, ICF orients itself towards the Baptists. Ultimately, baptism is left to the individual's decision of conscience. Teichen explains: Today many of us have been baptized as babies. [] so the subject is none of your business anymore. Unfortunately, from my point of view, this is not entirely true. Try to remember your baptism (Teichen, Move, 142). 14 Evangelical Orientation Guide / Regional Section Bavaria

15 New Christian Movements The baptism of confession is practiced. Should a person baptized as a child seek baptism of faith, the consequences of canon law in the church of origin are pointed out. The request for rebaptism is granted in the ICF. The practice and theology of the Lord's Supper does not seem to have been finally clarified in the ICF. Words of institution from 1 Cor 11 are spoken differently. A consistent liturgical design has not yet been recognized. The small groups play an important role. In the ICF Munich there are team groups for this purpose: Both pursue the same goals: experience community God grow. In groups we share the ups and downs of life with one another. We experience Jesus [] and we grow personally and numerically. Groups are the place where you can find a home in our church. (;) Assessments The impression arises as if, based on ICF Zurich, it was a kind of franchise church in which episcopal and congregational structures mix. The struggle for an understanding of the church is made clear by a statement made by the former ICF leaders for Leipzig, Dresden and Halle, René and Deborah Wagner, who announced that the time has now come to develop our mandate and our own profile with more independence. As a church, we have therefore decided to organizationally and nominally leave the ICF on. (;) The Wagner couple have now founded their own church. A denominational classification of ICF is difficult. ICF moves in the scientific-theological sense between neo-charismatic and evangelical positions with a biblical fundamentalist understanding of the word. Linguistically, the use of Anglicisms is striking. In conjunction with music and the professional use of digital media, these should possibly give the impression of a church that has its finger on the pulse. In terms of content, premarital and extramarital sexual intercourse as well as practiced homosexuality are regarded as sin. These moral concepts are in stark contrast to the external, contemporary appearance. The baptism donated in the ICF is carried out rite and is to be recognized. Theological problem is the devaluation of infant baptism and the practice of rebaptism. This fails to recognize the uniqueness of God's act of grace. For Christians who were baptized as children, this can mean exclusion from their church of origin. The overemphasis on the decision to believe in rebaptism is not conclusive, because God's gracious anticipation is thus subordinate to one's own decision of conscience. Recommendations for action Participating in celebrations and other offers can be edifying, but it can also lead to conflicts (with regard to moral concepts, the understanding of baptism or family relationships). If a rebaptism is considered, one should be aware of the consequences (self-exclusion from the church of origin). Where young people talk about their experiences in the ICF in families, youth work or in religious instruction, it is advisable to talk to them about fascination and problem reports. In the case of double membership, a clarifying discussion must be held. Further reading [on the history of the ICF, last update 2007]. Bernd Dürholt / Haringke Fugmann Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria 15

16 New Christian Movements 1.3 Sozo Perceptions The Sozo prayer service (Greek to save, to save) is part of the liberating practice of faith in many neo-charismatic congregations and Pentecostal churches. Sozo encounters spirituality and healing at the esoteric fair and is increasingly becoming a topic in ideological advisory work. Contents In 1997 Dawna de Silva Sozo took part in a seminar in the Bethel Church in Redding / USA and got to know a prayer model of the liberation preacher Pablo Bottari. Inspired by this, she began using a tool known today as The Four Doors. More tools have been added over the years. After Sozo was soon practiced worldwide, the International Bethel Sozo Organization was founded in 2005. Sozo is a service of the Bethel Transformation Center under the direction of Dawna De Silva, Yvonne Martinez and Teresa Liebscher the first seminar took place in Germany. The German Bethel Sozo network is based in Speyer. The prayer service is based, among other things, on the following basic ideas: Through Sozo people should be healed and freed from life's lies. In addition to the relationship to God, the God-provided personal determination of the Sozo recipient is also in focus. Sozo is about the fight against the forces and forces of evil. By registering for the Sozo, the person signing the application releases the Sozo team members from any liability claims (SOZO Handbuch Basic, 52). The central moment of this process is forgiveness. In the practice of liberation service, it is necessary to be aware of the constant influence of forces from invisible worlds. Likewise, the Sozo recipient must also be released from tinted glasses that could color the view of God. In order to achieve these goals, the Sozo leader has various tools. The Father Ladder and The Four Doors can be viewed as central. For exceptional cases, additional tools are offered with the Advanced Bethel Sozo Training.The father ladder: Disturbances in the father, mother, sibling relationship influence the view of God the Father (father), Jesus (brothers and sisters, friends) and the Holy Spirit (mother). While the Father is responsible for the body and the needs of identity, value and protection, Jesus is assigned the soul (communication and friendship) and the Spirit (consolation and teaching) to the Holy Spirit. People experience injuries in real life and carry wounds with them. After the Sozo recipient has forgiven the person who caused it, in a next step he should renounce the lie that God acts on him in the same way. Healing takes place when the recipient believes the truth that God has finally revealed to him. The four doors: By opening the doors to fear, hatred, sexual sin and occultism / sorcery, this also includes Freemasonry, the enemy has received the authorization to enter into a person's life. This is how lies and hurts could manifest themselves. In addition to the lie, cooperations with sin and the resulting demonic bulwarks can be identified. Generational curses, for which forgiveness can be asked on behalf of, must also be observed. During the liberation, the enemy could try to create fear. These efforts should be ignored. Dawna de 16 Evangelical orientation aid / regional part Bavaria

17 New Christian Movements Silva compares demons with fluffing puffer fish that can even manifest themselves physically. But the name of Jesus is more than sufficient to poke into them. Other tools: The wall is used to exchange erected protective walls for the protection of God. It originally comes from Aiko Hormann. Presenting Jesus, the instrument developed by Ed Smith, helps to recognize that Jesus was also present in those situations in which the Sozo recipient had previously doubted this. In order to heal painful memories, Jesus should be asked during the session to reveal his presence at the time. Thought patterns are to be processed via the Divine Processing. The second advanced tool, Post-Traumatic Stress / Trigger Mechanisms, is used to heal the memories brought to mind by current events. Sozo for children: Sozo is also available for children. These are i. d. Usually relaxed, after the assurance that you cannot make any mistakes, as long as you honestly reveal your innermost being to the Sozo leader. Forgiveness is also the central moment in the Children's Sozo. Children who are unable to forgive should not fear punishment. A conversation with the parents is necessary. As soon as the child expresses a willingness to forgive, they can come back. Assessments Sozo can be described as a spiritual therapy practice that focuses on the personal relationship with God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In Sozo, God is divided into these people, who are assigned different main tasks. The comparison of roles with father, mother, child of the classic nuclear family is disturbing. The three-person-in-one-family conception of God in the Sozo contradicts the Lutheran understanding of God as the one being in three persons. With the help of imaginations and suggestions, the relationship between the Sozo recipient and God disturbing lies should be uncovered and replaced by the respective divine truth. The pressure that this can build up, especially on children, is immense. Establishing a successful and trusting relationship with God in such a situation seems difficult. The tools used are suitable for triggering mental and spiritual processes that require professional psychotherapeutic support. It is doubtful whether the necessary qualifications are imparted in the Sozo seminars. The mandatory disclaimer also speaks against this. Recommendations for action Sozo has found widespread use in neo-charismatic congregations and Pentecostal churches. About the z. Sometimes intensive contacts of individual members to parishes of the ELKB or the simultaneous membership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church are clear opportunities for contact. We strongly advise against taking Sozo into the parish pastoral care and counseling practice. Further information Marianne Brandl / Bernd Dürholt / Haringke Fugmann et al. (Ed.): Because we are asked, working aid on neo-charismatic Christianity and its major events, Bayreuth Bernd Dürholt Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria 17

18 New Christian Movements 1.4 Speaking in Tongues / Glossolalia / Prayer in Tongues Perceptions In Pentecostal, Charismatic and Neo-Charismatic congregations or churches and their worship services, the practice of speaking in tongues is widespread. Those who practice them (alone or in the context of a prayer group or worship service) describe them as edifying to their faith. In some quarters, speaking in tongues is taken as evidence of a person's baptism in the Spirit or the fulfillment of a person with the Holy Spirit. The term prayer in tongues, which is also used for this phenomenon, places the prayer character of speaking in tongues more in the foreground. In the context of the spiritual renewal of the community (GGE) as a charismatic movement within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, the practice of speaking in tongues also occurs. Contents From a phenomenological point of view, speaking in tongues is a sequence of softly to loudly spoken syllables that are neither produced in the sequence of normal language nor make sense. A variant of this is singing together in the Spirit as praise to God. Theologically speaking in tongues in Pentecostal, Charismatic and Neo-Charismatic contexts is mostly pneumatological, i.e. H. interpreted as charisma or gift of the Holy Spirit as well as in continuity with the phenomenon of glossolalia (speaking in tongues), as it is mentioned in the New Testament (especially Acts 2 and 1 Cor 12 and 14). According to Pentecostal thinking, speaking in tongues can either be demon-evoked, self-induced, or effected by the Holy Spirit. According to this way of thinking, the gift of discerning spirits is needed for clarification. 18 Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria Sometimes speaking in tongues is also used in a pastoral context, for example by intending to listen to the Holy Spirit in prayer in tongues to find out what problem a parishioner has (e.g. with regard to possible sins or occult burdens) and how it can be resolved can. It can also play a role in so-called prophecy. Assessments For an assessment of speaking in tongues from Evangelical-Lutheran. Neither the Berlin Declaration (1909) nor the Kassel Declaration (1996) nor the joint declaration of the Evangelical Gnadau Community Association and the Mülheim Association of Free Church Evangelical Congregations on the Berlin Declaration of 1909 (2009) are relevant. There are no theologically sufficient reasons to assume that speaking in tongues practiced today by Pentecostal, Charismatic and Neo-Charismatic Christians is identical to what is written in the New Testament about glossolalia. The Pentecostal miracle described in Acts 2, for example, is basically a miracle of hearing, not a miracle of speaking in foreign languages ​​(Xenolalia). There is no evidence to support the idea that speaking in tongues has been practiced throughout church history, that there is an uninterrupted line of tradition for it that can be invoked. From a religious psychological point of view, speaking in tongues can be explained as a psychological automatism. It can lead to speaking in tongues if it is possible to switch off the normal voice control on a one-off basis, e.g. B. by praying particularly fervently, long and emotionally. Once mastered, it can e.g. In some cases, it can be influenced, for example by being able to consciously start and stop, or speak loudly or softly in tongues.

19 New Christian Movements Speaking in tongues is a possibility of verbal expression alongside others and is inherent in every human being. It is not caused supernaturally, but can be caused by known circumstances and does not require an ecstatic state when practiced. Because it is a normal psychological process, speaking in tongues also occurs in many non-European cultures and non-Christian religions; The phenomenon was also known in the spiritism of the 19th century. Theologically there is no question that the Holy Spirit works where he wills (cf. Jn 3: 8); thus he can of course also work in tongues practiced by Pentecostal, charismatic and neo-Charismatic Christians, just as he can work in any other form of human expression, for example in understandable language, music, dance, art, architecture, etc. speaking in tongues neither an indwelling of the Holy Spirit nor an assurance of salvation can be derived. Recommendations for action The practice of speaking in tongues in private can be understood as a generally harmless individual prayer practice, the edifying nature of which should not be disputed. Theological and pastoral problems arise when in regional church groups and circles that are influenced by Pentecostal, Charismatic or Neo-Charismatic piety, a kind of spiritual superiority or inferiority is derived from the ability or inability (or unwillingness) to speak in tongues becomes; Where speaking in tongues suggests an alleged power over the Holy Spirit, it is a question of blasphemy. Where such is known, theological and pastoral conversation should be sought. Is it about the question of whether speaking in tongues in a church service in a church of an Evangelical-Lutheran. Congregation can be practiced, for example because a charismatic group within the parish wishes this, the conversation should be sought beforehand. The theological and pastoral questions outlined here should be clarified. A speech in tongues given in the service as well as its introduction and interpretation must not lag behind the level of reflection achieved in the preliminary discussion. Finally, it should be remembered that other parishioners may find speaking in tongues strange and may be repulsed by it. It may be possible to consider offering a special target group service or referring to a regional church charismatic congregation. Further information Marianne Brandl / Bernd Dürholt / Haringke Fugmann et al. (Ed.): Because we are asked, working aid on neo-charismatic Christianity and its major events, Bayreuth Hansjörg Hemminger: Basic knowledge of religious psychology. A manual for study and practice, Freiburg i. Br Haringke Fugmann Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria 19

20 Religious communities of Christian origin 2.1 Congregation of God of the World Mission Association Perceptions Reports on Ramadama campaigns appear in district advertisers. Responsible for this are the Church of God of the World Mission Association or the WeLoveU Foundation. At subway stations, missionaries, often from Korea, engage young people in a conversation about God. This is followed by an invitation to a Sabbath celebration at the local center. Contents The Church of God of the World Mission Society Church of God goes back to Ahnsahnghong. He was born in South Korea in 1918. He was baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1948. He founded the church of God, which was initially called the Witnesses of Jesus Church of God, so he went to heaven. The period from 1948 to 1985 is understood as the dawn of a new era The ages of the Father and the Son have passed. With Ahnsahnghong the time of the Holy Spirit has dawned. The Church of God believes that Jesus, who came at the time of the NT as Son of God, is Jehovah in the OT and that he is in accordance with it According to a statement by a missionary in Seoul, whoever has a different understanding of the Trinity has no idea of ​​trinitarian thinking, who has a different understanding of the Trinity, has come back to the biblical prophecy in this age This particular concept of the Trinity in the Church of God becomes still different from the conception of the Mother of God, the most decisive characteristic of the Church of Go ttes ( She meets her believers in Jang Gil-Ja, who was born in 1943 and was baptized in the World Mission Association in 1969. According to Galatians 4:26, she is worshiped as New Jerusalem. The existence of God the Mother is justified with the Hebrew term Elohim (gods!). With reference to the creation song in Genesis 1, the need for a maternal aspect is also pointed out. The prominent role of God the Mother is given special emphasis by a note in the songbook of the congregation: God the Father would even listen to God the Mother. Jang Gil-Ja is considered a mediator and guarantor of salvation in God's church. The current chairman of the World Mission Society Church of God and chief pastor (as the official name is) is Kim Joo-cheol. The teaching of the World Mission Association is developed from the Passover reference point. Jesus once celebrated the Passover. Therefore, the Lord's Supper should only be celebrated once a year. In addition to Passover, other festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles are celebrated. The Sabbath, on which the church of God celebrates its worship, is likely to be related to the Adventist roots of Ahnsahnghong. The baptism of confession is taught, which is accomplished through immersion. Children of believing parents could be baptized early. Salvation is only possible in the Church of God of the World Mission Association under strict observance of the teaching it preached. The Mother of God, worshiped by the members, is to be followed absolutely. Only the World Mission Association had true knowledge. All other churches would have false doctrines. A quote may make this clear: 20 Protestant orientation aid / regional part of Bavaria

21 Religious Communities of Christian Origin The Spirit (God the Father) and the Bride (God the Mother) have come to give mankind the water of life. The water of life is the passover of the new covenant in which life is promised. () Today the church of God is the only one who keeps the Passover of the new covenant. According to the prophecy of the Bible, in addition to God the Father, God the Mother has already come and is doing her work of redemption. (Flyer from the World Mission Association: I have already come.) The headquarters, the New Jerusalem Temple, is located in Pangyo / South Korea, the congregation states that it has 500 congregations in Korea and around 2.8 million registered members worldwide . The aim is to reach communities around the world. In Germany there are congregations of the World Mission Association in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and a few other places. The WeLoveU Foundation belongs to the environment of the World Mission Association. Founded in the early 1990s, it is headed by Zahng Gil-Jah. The foundation is active in public through blood donation campaigns (Worldwide Blood Drive), concerts (New Life Concert) and environmental campaigns (Clean World Movement). Recommendations for action It is very unlikely that the World Mission Association will contact Evangelical Lutheran congregations. Talks with members of the World Mission Association will not have an ecumenical character for the foreseeable future due to the understanding of missions. The baptism performed in the Church of God of the World Mission Association is not a Christian baptism due to the understanding of the Trinity and can therefore not be recognized. Under no circumstances can church rooms be made available to the World Mission Association. Further information Matthias Pöhlmann / Christine Jahn (eds.): Handbook Weltanschauungen, Religious Communities, Free Churches, Gütersloh 2015, 436 f.Bernd Dürholt Assessments The World Mission Society Church of God belongs to the classic type of an exclusive end-time community. A conversation with members inevitably leads to the recitation of the same quotations from the Bible, which serve to underpin the teaching of the community. Due to the exclusive understanding of salvation, non-members are considered to be mercilessly excluded from the event of salvation and lost forever. Protestant orientation aid / regional section Bavaria 21

22 Religious communities of Christian origin 2.2 Johannische Kirche Perceptions The Johannische Kirche (JK) is one of the small, inconspicuous Christian special communities. In Franconian Switzerland there are two communities in Gößweinstein and Waischenfeld. There are regular invitations to church services. There are several JK facilities; the Stempferhof, now after many modernization measures a 4-star hotel with wellness area, the Gut Schönhof with agriculture, a kindergarten and since 2001 a cemetery with a funeral hall. Contents The bricklayer and innkeeper Joseph Weißenberg () founded the Evangelical-Johannische Kirche in Berlin in 1926 according to the Revelation of St. John (since 1975 Johannische Kirche). The native Silesian is said to have gained supernatural experiences in his early youth. Following an inner calling, Weißenberg decided in 1903 to live according to Christ's commandments and to take care of the suffering and sick. He opened a practice as a healing magnetizer. Weißenberg healed by the laying on of hands, prescribed teas, white cheese and folk remedies. His healing activity made him known far beyond Berlin, Weißenberg founded the Christian Association of serious researchers from this side to the next, true supporters of the Christian churches.Their goal was the unification of Christians of all confessions through the rebuilding of the early church of Jesus. Weißenberg had otherworldly spirit friends hold instructive speeches in the meetings through specially suitable persons (media). These were switched on or off by the laying on of hands or by appropriate commands. Weißenberg protested against the accusation of spiritualism. Rather, he wanted the Spiritual Friends to be understood as a Pentecostal event, as Spiritual Christian speaking. Between 1920 and 1934, Weißenberg and his supporters built a settlement on the newly acquired land near Trebbin, the so-called Peace City. With his views and practices, Weißenberg came increasingly into conflict with authorities and the Evangelical Church, which he wanted to reform in his favor. The Secret State Police arrested Weißenberg for spiritualist activities, the National Socialists issued a ban on the JK. After his release from prison, the 80-year-old was exiled by the Gestapo to Bad Oberningk in Silesia, where he died on March 6, 1941. After Weißenberg's death, the management of the JK was initially in the hands of his daughter Frieda Müller (), who in turn appointed Josephine Müller as her successor in 1961. Shortly before her death, she appointed Stefan Tzschentke as head, who has held the office since December 13, 2019. On January 11, 2020, he appointed Daniel Stolpe as his deputy and successor. The structure of the JK serves according to its own understanding of a theocratic order, according to which God should be the supreme ruler. It is the sole responsibility of the head of the church to assign offices and services within the church. According to estimates, the number of parish members in Bavaria is around 200, and around Germany throughout Germany. The center of the community is in the Peace City near Trebbin, district of Glau, in Brandenburg. The JK maintains its own cemetery there. After a checkered history, today's listed city of peace includes numerous apartment buildings, an old people's home, a school, a large hall church in Blankensee, the healing institute as well as commercial and gastronomic establishments. The Johannische Sozialwerk e. V. is based in Berlin. 22 Protestant orientation aid / regional section Bavaria

23 Religious communities of Christian origin In 1972 the JK bought the Stempferhof, with which it intensified its social and church commitment in Franconian Switzerland. It acquired Gut Schönhof in Eichenbirkig. The creed of the JK reads: I believe in God the Father, I believe in God the Son, I believe in God the Holy Spirit and in God's revelations through Moses, Jesus Christ and Joseph Weißenberg. In teaching and practice, she refers to the Old and New Testaments as well as the so-called Third Testament, which consists of the words of Weißenberg and selected spiritual friend speeches and is not yet concluded. The JK sees in Weißenberg the comforter or spirit of truth promised by Jesus Christ in Joh 14,16 f. The idea that the soul continues to live in the hereafter is one of the firm foundations of belief. This also includes the thought of reincarnation. While the body, i.e. H. matter, which remains on earth after death and decomposes, spirit and soul returned to eternity. The JK donates four sacraments, through which the idea of ​​God's currents of power are transmitted: Baptism, the Lord's Supper, which is celebrated once a year, the sacrament of spiritual healing and the sacrament of dying. According to the understanding of faith of the JK, power flows of God are conveyed through this. Johann Christians are not allowed to play cards because they can attract evil spirits. Assessments With the assertion that God reveals himself in a special way in Joseph Weißenberg or is the comforter promised by Jesus Christ, the JK has abandoned the common faith of the Christian churches. Last but not least, this applies to the Spiritual Friends' speeches, which are intended to supplement the Old and New Testaments as the Third Testament. The ideas of the afterlife and reincarnation represented by the JK are to be judged critically, since the individual is able to achieve salvation through his own strength, even in the afterlife. This contradicts the evangelical understanding of justification, according to which the individual, even in death and resurrection, is completely dependent on the grace of God without his own intervention. Recommendations for action Since the JK baptizes without water, this action is not to be recognized as a Christian baptism from an evangelical point of view. Members of the JK cannot take part in the evangelical supper. If a Protestant congregation member takes part in the sacrament celebration of the JK, this can be viewed as a connection to this community. In individual cases, a pastoral conversation should be held with those affected about individual motivation and the irreconcilable teaching differences. Further information Matthias Pöhlmann / Christine Jahn (eds.): Handbuch Weltanschauungen, Religious Communities, Free Churches, Gütersloh 2015, Matthias Pöhlmann Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria 23

24 Religious Communities of Christian Origin 2.3 Church of Almighty God / Eastern Lightning Perceptions Young Chinese women with German names repeatedly send friend requests to church employees via Facebook. If you take a closer look at the respective Facebook profiles of the inquirers, it becomes apparent that their portrait photos usually only show them from the side. Mostly they advertise the relevant Internet pages of the Church of Almighty God (KAG) such as B. www. or de /. Its members introduce themselves as Christians from China to Christian congregations and try to recruit new members there. Contents The Church of Almighty God was founded in 1991 by the former physics teacher Zhào Wéishan (born 1951). It emerged from the house church movement. These were groups founded by Witness Lee () and called screamers in China (because they loudly confess the name of the Lord). Wéishan had set up his own group within the house churches in Henan Province as early as 1989. He became an instrument of the Holy Spirit and a priest of this new church. He proclaimed the young Chinese girl Yang Xiabing (born 1973) to be almighty God, the returned, incarnated Christ. The CAG was soon rejected as heretical by other Protestant groups. From 1995 onwards, the Chinese state regarded them as a cult that threatened the state. In 1997/1998 and 2012 there were several waves of persecution of the members of the KAG by the Chinese authorities. Wéishan and Xiabing fled to New York / USA in 2000 and applied for asylum there. The publishing house Morning Star Publishing of the KAG is located in Bayside / New York. Its membership is estimated at 4 million in 32 countries. The KAG has also been active in Germany since 2015. Contact addresses exist in Regensburg and Stuttgart. Members of the KAG run the association for the defense of human rights and religious freedom in Engstingen (Baden Württemberg). According to credible international reports, the CAG members also used violent methods (deception, kidnapping, etc.) to convert people. The central biblical reference point for the self-understanding of the CAG is Mt 24:27: For as lightning goes out from the east and shines as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. She interprets this promise to mean that the lightning had already appeared in China and took place there in the Second Coming of Christ, before the eastern lightning spread to the west. This is why the KAG is also known as Eastern Lightning. The basis for the teaching and practice of the KAG is the work The Word Appears in the Flesh, created between 1991 and 1997, which is supposed to surpass the Bible and contain current teachings of Christ. It is considered The Word of Almighty God and fundamentally surpasses the Bible. Its content is said to have been conveyed directly to Wéishan by the Holy Spirit. The CAG divides salvation history into three periods: The Age of Law relates to events in the Old Testament. During this time God revealed himself to man as Jehovah. Its main task was to free Israel from Egypt and to convey its laws, the Ten Commandments, to it. The age of grace extends from the birth of Jesus Christ to his 24 Evangelical Orientation Guide / regional part Bavaria

25 Religious Communities of Christian Origin Second Coming. Jesus was compassionate and loving. God incarnated in Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of mankind. Yet humanity still lives in sin. She is corrupted by Satan. Only now, in the present age of the kingdom, may God show himself as Almighty God and reveal himself through the female Christ: He has come again to remove satanic influence and to help people to cast off their sinful nature and to attain perfection. An exclusive understanding of the church is evident in the films of the KAG. Those of other faiths are threatened with annihilation in the end times. Christian festivals like Christmas and Easter are rejected. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are religiously meaningless. Religious practice centers around house worship and the writing of personal testimonies from members. They serve missionary practice. The church as a local fellowship meets three times a week for two hours each to study the New Revelation. The number of 50 people should not be exceeded. Members are encouraged to assemble in small groups of 5 to 7 people. Members of the KAG are strongly missionary, mostly in the vicinity of Protestant churches and free churches. An extremely high level of commitment is expected from every member. The KAG maintains a large number of websites on which it offers its basic works, songs, information, numerous synchronized films and advertising material, such as B. on and represents numerous special teachings. Their exclusive self-image, the special doctrine of a Christ currently incarnated in a person and, last but not least, the three-age doctrine cannot be reconciled with fundamental Christian conceptions. The massive missionary activity and fanaticism, which in some cases does not shy away from violence, underline the high level of conflict in this group. Recommendations for action If Chinese Christians appear in the vicinity of a church parish, the first question to be asked is their church affiliation. In general, it must be ensured that members of the KAG are not given the opportunity to instrumentalize church events for their own missionary purposes (e.g. persecution in China). Friend inquiries via new social media should be checked to see whether the inquirers can find relevant pictures or likes for Internet addresses of the KAG. Further information Emily Dunn / Quánnéngshén Jiáhohuì (Dongfang Shandiàn), in: Carole M. Cusack / James R. Lewis (eds.): Handbook of East Asian New Religious Movements, Leiden 2018, Matthias Pöhlmann assessments The KAG is a new religion because it on the basis of extra-biblical new revelations Protestant orientation aid / regional part Bavaria 25

26 Religious Communities of Christian Origin 2.4 Organic Christ Generation / Anti-Censorship Coalition / / Ivo Sasek Perceptions Wailing Wall TV Unmasked Media Lies and Lies Media! advertises with this slogan on the Internet and spreads numerous conspiracy myths. They revolve around mandatory vaccinations, mobile communications, 5G networks and the pharmaceutical industry. This is one of the many activities of the Swiss Ivo Sasek that have recently been the subject of many critical reports. The YouTuber Matthäus Westfal alias activist Mann, who is a member of the Organic Christ Generation (OCG), became known. He regularly reports via livestream of larger lateral thinking demonstrations. Sasek supporters also carry out advertising activities in the environment of conservative free churches. Members of the New Testament congregation Life in Christ in Mertingen (Donau-Ries district) also adhere to Sasek's OCG. 26 Evangelical Orientation Guide / Regional Section Bavaria Contents The founder and head of OCG, the Anti-Censorship Coalition (AZK) and is the Swiss auto mechanic Ivo Sasek (born 1956). At the age of 21 he was converted to the Christian faith and initially joined the free church newlife movement. After attending a Bible school, from which Sasek was excluded because of his Pentecostal theology, he and his wife founded the Obadja drug rehabilitation center in Walzenhausen (Switzerland) in 1983. The couple has eleven children. First a community structure with loosely connected circles was created. Right from the start, Sasek focused on spreading his messages through his own film productions, CDs and DVDs. The book Mama, Please Chastise Me, written by three of Sasek's children, resulted in his arrest in 2001 and charged with alleged child abuse, but acquitted. Since then, he has been exposed to a conspiracy from the judiciary, the media and the churches, and has been sniffing smear campaigns. With his diverse journalistic activities, Sasek spreads conspiracy narratives and specifically seeks out contacts to right-wing esotericists, anti-vaccination opponents, Scientologists and Holocaust deniers, whom he invites to the AZK conferences as speakers. The OCG as it sees itself represents the insight that humanity is a global organism, that it is linked to one another in an organic way and that this organism is not able to exist in the long term without divine guidance. Regardless of age, gender, denomination and origin, the OCG has learned to live and act as ONE (1) organism under the head of Jesus Christ. In fact, the group with around members aims to establish and exercise the rule of God. She sees herself as the embodiment of the body of Christ on earth. Because Christ is physically present on earth through the OCG, they now perform the judicial service against all evil inside and outside. The individual must therefore connect with the righteous, be holy and eradicate evil in their own lives. It is about subordination, since the OCG sees itself as a new community of a new world according to Sasek. Sasek asks its members to subordinate their own will to the community. Likewise, within the OCG, women have to submit to men, since God has given men the great responsibility of leadership and leadership in the church and marriage. Sasek has integrated non-Christian and esoteric ideas (reincarnation idea) into the belief system of the OCG. The assembly

27 Religious communities of Christian origin, courses and training courses take place at the headquarters of the OCG in Walzenhausen / Switzerland. There are also big stage shows and emotional music events, most of which are organized by Sasek and his numerous children. Whoever wants to join the OCG must first undergo a assessment. The organism's suitability should be checked, d. H. to what extent the applicant is willing to put aside self-interests in relation to God's organism, the OCG. A confession of sin is required from the respective person. The method of measurement can lead to psychological breakdown in individual cases. In recent years, Sasek has increasingly expanded its media offering to enable further networking and campaigns. According to its own information, now has 165 film and sound studios with over 213 presenters and distributes its programs in 42 languages ​​and in 212 countries. The paper “Voice and Counter-Voice” (S&G) has been published since 2012. It sees itself as an organ of clarity-seeking and justice-loving people from all over the world. It deals with news allegedly suppressed by the mass media. Own writings are produced by Elaion Verlag, films and DVDs by Panorama Film. Other initiatives by Sasek include the web radio Vetopedia, the free encyclopedia of opposing voices as well as against alleged false reports and manipulation of the conventional media. The annual meetings of the AZK play an important role in networking with conspiracy ideologists, anti-vaccination opponents and right-wing esotericists. In spring 2020, Sasek's internal friend-foe list appeared, in which, among other things, private data from politicians and critics was collected. At the end of April 2020, the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office therefore initiated preliminary investigations against the Swiss. Assessments The OCG is a radical, conflict-prone special community that represents an exclusive self-image. Sasek has integrated esoteric and conspiracy ideological ideas into the belief system of the OCG and has thus far removed himself from biblical soil. Its claim and its role are exaggerated and should be questioned critically. The enemy images that he and his members disseminate through the numerous channels are particularly problematic. Recommendations for action It is not possible to provide church premises for the OCG. Where appropriate, Sasek's ideological views on conspiracy and his targeted networking strategies with anti-democratic and anti-Semitic forces should be explained. The ideological background and the actual motivation of the widely ramified journalistic activities should be critically discussed. Further information Matthias Pöhlmann / Christine Jahn (eds.): Handbuch Weltanschauungen, Religious Communities, Free Churches, Gütersloh 2015, Harald Lamprecht: Fighting animals against delusional elites.Ivo Sasek trains fighters for the apocalyptic war, in: Confessio 2/2020, Matthias Pöhlmann Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria 27

28 Esoteric worldviews and offers 3.1 Biodanza perceptions Liveliness, joy, lightness - these are keywords used to advertise Biodanza offers on the Internet or in esoteric magazines. This method can be found in dance schools and sports clubs, but also in the context of alternative-spiritual offers, with which special spiritual and healing experiences are made possible and the connection to a higher creative force, a divinity is to be established. In the community of the Biodanza group, a further idea of ​​a protected space arises in which integration, healing and renewal of our vital life functions occur and an (energy) field enriched with love is to be created. Contents The made-up word Biodanza is made up of the pairs of terms Bios and Danza: bios (Greek life) is understood by providers as life, as an animated part of the cosmos. The Spanish danza stands for dance, a meaningful and integrated movement. The foundations of Biodanza go back to the Chilean psychologist, anthropologist and artist Rolando Toro-Araneda (), who investigated the importance of rites, dances and symbols for medicine in the 1960s. As a lecturer at the Medical Faculty of the State University of Santiago de Chile, he researched expanded states of consciousness. Biodanza is distributed in Germany through Biodanza centers. The method is intended to strengthen the following human potentials: vitality (joy of life, drive, activity, nutrition, rest), creativity, sexuality (sensual pleasure), affectivity (ability to love, emotional closeness and fulfilling relationships), transcendence experiences. In some cases, the scope is expanded to include psychotherapy, preventive healthcare and geriatrics. Rolando Toro-Araneda is often quoted on websites for Biodanza courses as saying: In Biodanza, when people are in a relationship with themselves in dance, they restore the cosmic sense that integrates them into a larger unity. The magnetisms of dance create creative, erotic and biological fields that the great ceremony of life is transcendent in and of itself. This is interpreted to mean that the divine experience culminates in identification with the true self. "The experience of unity does not require duality. One is never so much part of the wholeness as during the mystical experience. The deep merging with the self dissolves the boundaries between inside and outside. This experience is thus the merging with the whole in one Act of pulsating dissolution, in which the universe in all its complexity and glorious unity manifests itself in the creature and at the same time the creature becomes a unity. A Biodanza course consists of several dates. The course lasts 1.5 to 3 hours and lasts for several months up to one year. The so-called Biodanza session consists of a discussion and a sequence of several dances. In the conversation you should get to know the fellow dancers and find out what is currently moving them emotionally. The Biodanza teachers * in explains the course or the respective topic of the session. This is followed by the sequence of individual dances, which is structured according to the criteria of the Biodanza theory Adapted to the group situation: The participants dance individually or they lead their own individual 28 Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria together

29 Esoteric world views and offers le implementation of the dance presented. You can dance alone, with changing dance partners or in the whole group. The specially selected music aims to support the individual experience in order to enable pleasant and intense dance and encounter experiences. When training to become a Biodanza teacher, the teaching of ideological and spiritual aspects also plays a role. In addition to the biocentric principle, the three-year training course also addresses trance and regression. The focus is on the so-called biocentric principle. It is supposed to put life at the center. Plants, animals, the planet earth, the whole universe are all alive. The German BIODANZA Society is a registered association in Hamburg. It has set itself the task of making Biodanza better known in order to contribute to an improvement in the physical and mental health of broad sections of the population by promoting and disseminating the Biodanza method. It focuses on the topics of expanding consciousness and mystical ecstasy in transcendent experiences: Crossing these boundaries is only partially possible with the intellect alone. Only the experience of these connections enables a fundamental change in our perception of the world. This expands our consciousness and a mystical ecstasy can arise here, which lets us experience the sacredness of life. ([]) Assessments Biodanza can be beneficial for people with psychosomatic complaints in certain life situations. However, the prerequisite is that the method is used by qualified therapists. Overall, it is important to see the limits of the method and to critically question the promises that are often exaggerated by providers. Biodanza is one of the spiritual movement therapies. It should create the connection to oneself, to the other and to the universe / divine. From a Christian point of view, the idea associated with the method is to be problematized, according to which God should be replaced and depersonalized by the divine, man should be transcended into the divine. Recommendations for action Individual providers of Biodanza move in the context of shamanism, esoteric and coaching offers. Church rooms cannot be made available. It should be checked whether simple solutions are offered with Biodanza and whether the biocentric background and the idea of ​​an all-unity can become so determining that the distinction between creator and creature, which is decisive for the Christian faith, is abolished. Further information Reinhard Hempelmann et al. (Ed.): Panorama of the new religiosity. Search for meaning and promise of salvation at the beginning of the 21st century, Gütersloh 2005, 120. Matthias Pöhlmann Evangelical Orientation Aid / Regional Section Bavaria 29