Controversial Korean Faith Healer to Appear in Madison Square Garden

South Korean evangelist and faith healer Lee Jae Rock is preparing to hold a “healing crusade” in New York. As ever, ASSIST Ministries reports:

The “New York 2006” healing crusade will take place in the historic Madison Square Garden on July 27, 28 and 29.

…Like at all of his crusades, Dr. Lee will pray for the sick who attend the meetings. Before each service, a medical table will be set up for people who are sick to go and be diagnosed by Korean and American doctors and nurses and then, after being prayed for, if they believe they are healed, they will return back so that the medics can check out whether the healing had taken place from a medical perspective.

How exactly doctors will be able to make medically-valid diagnoses from a swift once-over at a “medical table” is not explained. However, one New York senator is not bothered by such a detail. ASSIST’s Dan Wooding spoke to Johnny Kim, who liases with mere mortals on behalf of Lee (link added):

…Kim added that New York State Senator, the Rev. Dr. Ruben Diaz, who was born in Puerto Rico, has encouraged local pastors to attend the crusade in Madison Square Garden and bring along their congregations.

Diaz himself is a pastor with the Church of God.

Lee has been making dramatic claims about his supposed ability to heal the sick for several years. Back in 2003 I tipped off James Randi about a particularly dubious photo of someone who had apparently been “healed” at a healing crusade in Russia. At the time (see my later blog entry here), ASSIST also promised that a Russian academic was preparing a report that would prove Lee’s abilities; when I contacted Wooding about this some months later, he referred me back to Kim, who did not respond. I then gently suggested to Wooding (some of whose work I find quite useful) that he might like to take a more sceptical view; I then received a brief notice that I had been removed from ASSIST’s mailing list (which was odd, given that I wasn’t on it).

Earlier this month, Lee’s church produced a press release announcing that

Medical Doctors Present Scientific Evidence Of Divine Healing At Conference In The Philippines

Apparently

…real medical data backing the claims were presented by physicians on maladies such as gastric cancer, quadriplegia, intracerebral hemorrhage, severe disability, thoracic tumor, Celiac disease, infertility, facial burns, tennis elbow tendonitis, liver cirrhosis, and other incurable diseases.

Lee’s church also runs a website with the purported “evidence”.

Lee Jae-Rock has featured on this blog several times in the past. His theology is somewhat eccentric, and includes details about blood transfusions and UFOs. He has been marginalised by other Christian groups in South Korea, and he once attempted to prevent a critical TV documentary from being aired by having his church members invade the studio (the documentary can be seen here). He also claims to have photos of strange phenomena that prove his supernatural powers; I placed one of these on my blog here. There are various Christian websites which critique Lee and have some interesting information, such as this one.

Name variations: Jaerock Lee, Lee Jae-rok

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