Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, September 24, 2018

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

AU police: There is “no evidence” that group is involved in “illegal activity”

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

Several students reported to AU police that they were approached near and on campus by “Mother of God,” a religious group, in recent weeks.

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

AUPD issued a statement Feb. 14 stating that the group approached students in pursuit of recruiting for their bible study and to discuss their beliefs -- “and nothing else.”

“The University Police are fully aware of the situation and have looked in to the group extensively,” the statement read. “They have found no evidence that the Internet rumors about the group being involved in illicit or illegal activity are true.”

Caroline Treschitta, a senior in the School of Public Affairs, said she was approached by two women Sunday, Feb. 11, while walking back home from campus.

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

As she was walking alone, Treschitta said that she believed the rumors and thought it was strange that she was approached and invited to something that was already taking place.

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

AUPD said they continue to monitor the situation “very closely.” Students are advised to contact AUPD at 202-885-2527 or use a blue phone if they see people on campus that they feel should not be there.

news@theeagleonline.com


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