It is estimated that more than 2,000 religious groups are suspected of acting “sects”. United Kingdom, and many of them recruit students.
Jess, a former student at the University of Salford, says she was approached by two young men on campus who invited her to a “Cafe with God”.
At that time, she was weakened by the repeated deaths of her father.
The pair were members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, founded in South Korea in 1984 and has followers in different parts of the world.
Followers believe that leader Lee Man-hee, who calls himself the “Promised Shepherd”, will take 144,000 people to heaven after Christ’s second coming to earth.
“I became a completely different person. I lost motivation about my studies,” says Jess, about the time she attended group meetings in university classes.
Shincheonji: Young woman reveals how she was recruited by the ‘Promised Shepherd’ Church – Photo: reproduction/BBC
She says that she began to devote herself completely to church activities and left the university in the background.
A Shincheonji spokesman says the group is not a cult and denies that it controls or manipulates its members.
The University of Salford says the campus is open to the public, which can pose challenges to overseeing work done by outside bodies.
watch video How Jess found herself inside a controversial religious organization.