The Korean religious leader on a collision course with the Church of England

He is the elderly leader of a religious movement said to have a presence in at least 30 countries around the world.

To his admirers he is an inspirational peacemaker in the secular realm and a messenger appointed by God in the spiritual sphere.

In his native South Korea he can be found speaking in front of vast stadium crowds at rallies complete with stunning, carefully orchestrated displays.

But in Britain, the public face of Man-Hee Lee’s global influence is a drab, anonymous commercial unit in the London Docklands, sharing a block with a cosmetic surgery clinic and a fitness suite.

A blank door, easily mistaken as a storage room, on the ground floor of a block in a commercial estate in Limehouse marks the entrance to the official headquarters of Parachristo, a charity running Bible study courses but which prominent figures in the Church of England have claimed is a “cult” intent on finding “recruits” in their congregations.

Although the address is publicly available, there is no sign at the entrance to the building to direct visitors to Parachristo’s premises.

The only hint of glamour in an otherwise forgotten corner of the capital is the hoarding for the unit directly above, a beauty clinic offering an array of plastic surgery, Botox, teeth whitening and laser hair removal. On the other side a banner advertises a personal trainer service.

But inside, it is alleged, the group now on a collision course with some of Britain’s most prominent churches, has been cultivating followers for Lee’s global movement.

Organisers insist Parachristo exists solely to help “understand the Bible more deeply”.

It is, it insists, a mainstream Christian group, complementing churches or supporting those who feel “restricted” from attending a typical congregation.

The group has strong links to Mr Lee’s Shinchonji (SCJ) movement, also known as the NHNE church – short for “New Heaven and New Earth”, a reference to the Book of Revelation.

Founded in 1984 by Mr Lee, it has spread rapidly within a generation, at a time when Christianity has expanded exponentially in South Korea.

Former attendees of Parachristo study groups have claimed that existing members effectively pose as new students.

Shinchonji teaching documents seen by The Telegraph instructs these “maintainers” to “arouse curiosity” of newcomers and “try to be close to each other until the student relies on you fully”.

They are told to “take notes of the conversation with the student” and report back to the group leader.

“Counselling is essential after the Bible study,” the manual adds.

Asked about the so-called of “maintainers”, Parachristo’s lawyer insisted there was no deception.

“Many of our client’s students choose to undertake the course multiple times as part of their personal journey with God,” she said.

“This is a personal choice for each member.

“Our client regularly informs students that other students are undertaking further study, having previously attended the course.”

Mr Lee himself is, to some, revered as God’s “promised pastor” who holds the key to avoid impending judgement.

Hundreds of thousands are said to have joined the movement, revering Mr Lee as God’s “advocate” or “the one who overcomes”.

His book The Creation of Heaven and Earth, extracts of which have been seen by The Telegraph, outlines teaching that salvation comes through a “promised pastor”.

Parachristo’s directors denied that anyone was taught to “worship” Mr Lee who was, they said, “a pastor like any other pastor”.

It is, they said, up to students to decide for themselves how the word “advocate” should be interpreted.