Mother of God religious group approaches students on campus, sparking fear in some

Several students have reported to UA Police that they have been approached near and on campus by the “Mother of God”, a religious group, in recent weeks.

Variations of a Facebook post indicating that the religious group is linked to suspected human trafficking circulated online in February. UA Students Against Human Trafficking shared the viral post on their Facebook page on February 12, which they later said to “ignore” as the claims were inaccurate, according to the AUPD.

AUPD issued A declaration February 14, stating that the group approached students for the purpose of recruiting them for their Bible study and to discuss their beliefs — “and nothing else.”

“University Police are fully aware of the situation and have examined the group thoroughly,” the statement said. “They have found no evidence that the internet rumors that the group is involved in illicit or illegal activities are true.”

Caroline Treschitta, a senior at the School of Public Affairs, said she was approached by two women on Sunday, February 11, as she was walking home from campus.

At first, Treschitta thought they were looking for directions, but then the women asked her if she would like to join their Bible study they were heading to. When she heard the rumors of the group on campus, she became concerned as her experience was similar to rumors of being approached by a religious group.

As she walked alone, Treschitta said she believed the rumors and thought it was odd that she had been approached and invited to something that was already happening.

“I would feel very guilty if there were really only two very nice girls asking me to come to their Bible study and I misinterpreted the whole thing,” Treschitta said. “I saw that rumor and just assumed it was that thing, but maybe it wasn’t.”

The AUPD said it continues to monitor the situation “very closely”. Students are advised to contact the AUPD at 202-885-2527 or use a blue phone if they see anyone on campus who they believe should not be there.

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