Representative of the Central Art Museum Evgeny Shin

In the Stavropol Territory, a scandal erupted related to the activities of sectarians, though not religious, but criminal and financial. The neo-Pentecostal pastor is accused of embezzling at least 58 million rubles from his parishioners. Sources in the region speak of a tenfold greater amount of damage, allegedly hushed up by the leadership of the community. Izvestia figured out how the sectarians manage to collect astronomical sums from the inhabitants of the not the richest region of the country.

Stavropol police aroused a criminal case against Evgeny Shin, a minister of the Christian Mission Church (TsKhM), under an article on fraud on an especially large scale.

“For four years, the man, being previously the assistant pastor of the Stavropol Christian Mission Church, which is part of the Russian United Union of Christians of the Evangelical Faith (ROSHVE), borrowed money from residents of the region, other regions and even countries under various pretexts, using his position and the trusting relationship that has developed between him and the parishioners, ”the regional department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement. The investments were allegedly required to invest in the restaurant and pharmaceutical business. The accused promised to return the money with interest, but closer to the time of reckoning he simply disappeared. For some time, Shin was hiding from the wanted list, but was detained in Moscow this week. He was convoyed to the Stavropol Territory, where, by court order, he was placed under arrest until October 17, 2021.

Who are we talking about

The official press release of the department does not indicate the name of the person involved, but in Stavropol everyone knows perfectly well who they are talking about. A number of local publications reported on a grandiose swindle, in which a representative of the Central Art Museum Yevgeny Shin was suspected. In the materials of the investigation, he appears as an assistant pastor, he also introduced himself to the police during the interrogation on the footage of the operational shooting. However, in the city for 17 years he was known precisely as the senior pastor. In this position, he also appeared on the organization’s website. However, information about this either disappeared or appeared on the community’s page.

Representative of the Central Art Museum Evgeny Shin

Photo: Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Stavropol Territory

– The amount that appears in the case is only 11 statements from people who left the community. The real amount of money stolen from parishioners exceeds half a billion rubles, ”Alexander, who calls himself a former sectarian, told Izvestia (the name has been changed, the editorial office has contacts). – The leadership of the Central Art Museum personally bypassed those who gave money to Shin, and persuaded not to contact the law enforcement agencies, although, on the contrary, they had to do everything to stop the crime.

A source in the region told Izvestia that Shin is an ethnic Korean, originally from Uzbekistan. He received an excellent education, but moved to Russia – according to some sources, due to problems with creditors and law enforcement agencies. First, he settled in Rostov-on-Don, where, as former parishioners say, he traded in the local market. Later he got in touch with representatives of a religious organization who call themselves Evangelical Christians. The organization changed its names – at one time it was known as the Church “Exodus”.

According to the interlocutor of Izvestia, the management TSKhM and ROSKhVE were formed from people who suffered from addictions, had problems with the law. A big secret is not made of this, and these facts are often reflected in sermons addressed specifically to drug addicts and alcoholics who want to be cured of an illness.

– It is no coincidence that the activity of the Central Art Museum is closely linked with rehabilitation centers. One fine day here, in the Stavropol Territory, they occupied a significant area of ​​this market, – says Alexander. “Also, the community leaders, including Shin, managed to start a successful business selling drugs for drug addicts and those who suffer from concomitant diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis.

Shin and his colleagues also had interests in other areas – in construction, restaurant business.

“They had numerous points in the city selling shawarma and pastries, but these incomes were probably not enough for him,” says Alexander.


Photo: Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Stavropol Territory

In his sermons, Shin denounced human weakness, including pride and greed. But he himself was actively involved in commerce and promised wealth to his neighbors, tempting with promises of super-profits.

– People knew him, trusted him. Therefore, when he asked for money for a grandiose business project, some pledged or sold property, took crazy loans and carried it to him. The victims communicate closely with each other, but not all of them have written statements.

If the police talk about 11 victims, then in the head organization of the Pentecostals back in June they talked about 25 people who donated significant sums to Shin. LIt is curious that ROSHVE mentioned its employees among the victims. In any case, the neo-Pentecostals point out that “cases were discovered when some clergymen neglected the current internal regulations of the church and transferred significant personal financial resources to E. Shin.”

Who are the neo-Pentecostals

“Every adherent of neo-Pentecostal sects is obliged to pay the sect a tithe (one tenth of their monthly income),” Aleksandr Korelov, a lawyer and sectologist, told Izvestia. – But it doesn’t stop there. The sects are constantly collecting donations. Some neo-Pentecostal pastors teach: “Our church is a” heavenly bank “, you donate 100 rubles, you get 1 thousand back, and if you donate 10 thousand, you will receive 100 thousand.” Or: “Before making your next donation, remember that at the Last Judgment you will be reminded of this day, this hour and the amount that you donate, so don’t skimp!” After such sermons, people give away their savings.

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The Stavropol Territory ranks 78th among the regions in terms of population income. According to Rosstat, in the second quarter of this year, the average per capita monetary income of a Stavropol citizen amounted to 22,804 rubles.


Photo: RIA Novosti / Evgeny Biyatov

Another distinctive feature of the sect is its aggressive behavior towards traditional Christian denominations, especially towards Orthodoxy.

– Neo-Pentecostals are one of the most powerful and numerous sectarian formations in the country. This is a whole movement that includes dozens of large and small sects. They have been active in the Stavropol Territory since the early 2000s. Now the TSKM sect and their leadership in Moscow pretend that Yevgeny Shin was not their pastor. But this is not the case. He was a senior pastor in Stavropol, had great authority among his fellow believers, which he probably took advantage of. I am sure that this would have been impossible without the consent of the higher authorities. At least they knew about his financial scams and did nothing, – told “Izvestia” priest Anthony Skrynnikov, head of the missionary department of the Stavropol diocese, candidate of philosophical sciences.

Where to look for money?

The investigation has yet to answer the most pressing question: where did the astronomical amount for the region go? Shin is hardly the only participant and organizer of a possible adventure, former parishioners believe.

– A strange situation has developed with Azamat Korkmazov, the pastor of the Central Art Museum in Kislovodsk. His hasty departure to the United States came as a surprise to the parishioners. People say that he also participated in the training camp for Shin’s various “projects”. They were friends and partners, they had a joint restaurant business. After his departure, they started talking about the alleged purchase of land for construction in the States. It turns out that “investments” went overseas, – says Alexander. There is information on the Web from 2016 about fundraising for the treatment of Korkmazov from a number of serious diseases – almost 1 million rubles were collected.


Photo: Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Stavropol Territory

– It was a landmark story. Then awkward questions and suspicions within the community began. The fact is that the drugs that Pastor Korkmazov needed were sold by his friend Shin. And their course cost at most 50 thousand rubles, – said another former parishioner Shina.

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