Ilmenau University News Issue 6/1999 dated 09/30/99
Newspaper of the Ilmenau Technical University

(Translation of an article originally published at http://www.tu-ilmenau.de/deutsch/iun/1999/0699/070699.html)

HRK warns of cult

The chairman of the Conference of College Rectors (HRK), Professor Klaus Landfried, warned in a circular of the bible-fundamentalist group “University Bible Fellowship” (UBF) which evangelizes on German university campuses. He says the world-wide cult-like group has already ten chapters in West Germany and is now trying to bring their mission to more universities, including East Germany. Professor Landfried appealed to the colleges to refuse any support for UBF and to restrictively apply their domestic authority where needed.

According to the circular, UBF’s view of Christian life matches a radical biblicism. Regarding form of organization and recruiting methods it follows the “shepherding” paradigm, according to which an already more advanced “shepherd” searches a “sheep” to evangelize and make it adopt his view of faith, which includes all areas of the mental and personal life. “Shepherding” holds the risk of addictive subjection, at least for unstable persons (e.g. students in examination phases), who are obviously purposefully addressed by the group. This can lead so far that UBF members, neglecting their study as well as other social contacts, are ready to support exclusively the UBF mission, transfer property or make payments as well as accepting a marriage partner unknown to them.