University police warn students about suspicious religious group

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - University of Memphis is warning students, faculty, and staff about a suspicious religious group on campus.

University Police said it has several reports of a group approaching students and aggressively trying to discuss religion and hand out pamphlets.

The group claims to be associated with the World Mission Society Church of God located in Southaven, Mississippi.

University Police placed the group on criminal trespass status, meaning they are not allowed on campus anymore.

The fear is that the group wants to do more than promote their religious beliefs. They have often tried to force students to attend one-on-one bible study sessions.

"It really just makes you uncomfortable," U of M student Nicholas Wright said. "You don't know what they are talking about. You try to show interest, give time, then it seems like they want more."

The group is reportedly active at Ole Miss as well. Police departments at both campuses have issued warnings against the group.

Wright said the groups are pushy and distracting to students.

"It's OK for them to talk about their beliefs but in terms of where you're really trying to pull people away, I feel like it's good that they made that decision to ban them," Wright said.

Both Ole Miss and U of M officials are encouraging students to use the University's campus escort programs.

"I feel like there is a difference between standing there talking about it and then you're actively being in people's faces trying to make them take something," U of M student Allison Banks said.

At this time the group has not been charged with any criminal activity. However, investigators urge caution to anyone dealing with the group.

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