HWPL: South Korea- International experts urge democratic countries to pay attention to religious suppression of minorities
HWPL: South Korea, non-religion phenomena reinforced due to suppression of minor religions done by major religions…
International experts urge democratic countries to pay attention to religious suppression of minorities
On 29 November, Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) from Italy and Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) from Belgium hosted a seminar on human rights entitled “Intolerance and Discrimination Against New Religious Movements: An International Problem”.
This seminar, held in Seoul, South Korea, was devoted to the protection of the rights of religious minorities targeted by the majority groups, particularly in the context of anti-human rights situations such as the forced conversion that occurred in Korea.
Forced conversion, also known as “Deprogramming”, is a social issue that causes human rights violations by kidnapping and detaining the members of religious groups labeled as “cults” by their opponents in order to compel them to abandon their faith.
More than 80 participants including legal experts, journalists, and civil society representatives reviewed the current situation of forced conversion and discussed solutions to defend the freedom of faith and human rights that have become the norm of the international community.
Massimo Introvigne, Managing Director of CESNUR as well as an Italian sociologist, stressed that forced conversion is conducted through the mainstream by saying, “Korean deprogrammers are specialized pastors from the mainline churches, most of them Presbyterian."
"The protests that commemorate the victims from forced conversion were mentioned in the 2019 U.S. State Department Report on Religious Freedom, including violations of religious freedom in the year 2018. However, there were new cases of deprogramming even after their death," he criticized.
In an official letter, signed by 15 international NGOs including HRWF, to the South Korean President Moon Jae-In said, “South Korea may well be the last democratic country in the world where the coercive conversion program is still tolerated” and reported the reality of the coercive conversion.
The newly rising denomination in Korean Christianity, ‘Shincheonji, overcame discrimination’and graduated 100,000 people” which condemns the forced conversion in the Republic of Korea
Due to the loss of self-purification capacity of the Christians in South Korea, the New York Times reported about the issue of religious human rights discrimination in the Republic of Korea in January. After it was reported, in contrary to the corruption of Christian Council of Korea a.k.a CCK the Shincheonji, newly rising denomination with the rapid growth had a 100,000graduation in Korea last 10th November which simultaneously held in 112 countries around the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. It achieved a new history graduating 103,764 people in spreading the gospels.
Shincheonji is an newly rising denomination in the Korean Christian community, but recently, Korean mainstream Christian denominations reveals a correlation between corruption and engaging in political matters, which Korean major media companies are now paying attention to the Shincheonji that purely teaches the Bible. In Korea, where the influence of large corporations and politicians is strong in the suppression of press against the minority denominations, now they raise the hands to Shincheonji, a new rising religion, showing the change of the Korean religious world and foretelling the change that shakes the Christianity in Korea.
An official of Shincheonji Church of Jesus said, "It is unprecedented that 100,000 people graduated at the same time in worldwide." And “there are currently more than 200,000 people that are studying the bible in Shincheonji. If Shincheonji continues to grow at this pace, then within 3 years it will reach a million congregation members”.