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One day in November 2008, Erika Cordova was approached in New York City by two women with an interesting question.“Have you heard of God the Mother?” one asked.Cordova, a Mexican native whose parents were Christian missionaries, admitted she had not.“I said no, and I thought it was weird,” Cordova said. “I thought ‘what is this church in New York?’”A week later, she studied with members of the church, the World Mission Society Church of God, and she was convinced about the idea of a female form of God and the church’s other beliefs, because of how well the members knew the Bible. They said, for example, that she should hold the Sabbath on Saturday, because the Holy Book said Jesus worshipped on the last day of the week.As a result of similar outreach, membership for the Church of God, a Christian church based in South Korea, has risen exponentially after a campaign that started in 1997; it opened its first American branch in Los Angeles that year and another in Chicago a year later. Now there are about 45 branches across the country, in 45 states, according to a church representative.....Mindy Harwood, a former physical education teacher in Polson, Mont., has been trying to get her oldest son to leave the church for more than three years.Her son joined the church’s Chicago branch in 2008. A year later, she said, he started acting strange. A corporate engineer, when he wasn’t at work he spent most of his time at the church. Mindy discovered that he gave the organization about $60,000 since he joined, including $25,000 from his pension without consulting his wife, who isn’t a member of the church.He also began frantically recruiting new church members, because he believed the world would end in 2012. All attempts to force him to quit just pushed the mother and son farther away.“It feels like he’s dead, but he’s still living,” Mindy said. “Like the person he was is dead, but this other person they’ve built up is walking around.”