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[Daily Cheonji] 10 Days until the one-year anniversary of the death of Ms. Ji-In Gu…We Call Upon the Blue House to Prohibit the Coercive Conversion.

2019-03-16조회수 983


10 Days until the one-year anniversary of the death of Ms. Ji-In Gu…We Call Upon the Blue House to Prohibit the Coercive Conversion Program


Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs (HAC) held a press conference in front of the Blue House on the 29th urging for the prohibition of the coercive conversion program.


To date, 150 further victims of coercive conversion this year since her murder

“Coercive conversion pastors evade legal punishment, making their crimes prevalent”


Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs (HAC, co-representative : Sangik Park, Jihye Choi) urged for the prohibition of the coercive conversion program in front of the Blue House on the 29th, shortly before the one year anniversary of the death of Ms. Ji-In Gu from coercive conversion

According to the HAC (Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs), Ms. Ji-In Gu was imprisoned by her family in recreational lodgings in Hwasun, Jeonnam province, on the 29th December last year and was forced to convert her religion. She subsequently died from asphyxiation during her struggle in opposition to it on 9th January 2018.

Ms. Ji-In Gu was a congregation member of Shincheonji Church of Jesus, The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (Shincheonji Church of Jesus). The cult counseling office, operated by the established denomination, had been persistent in their attempts to forcibly convert Ms. Ji-In Gu through her parents. In July 2016, she was imprisoned by her own family in a Catholic monastery in Jeonnam province for a period of 44 days where she was forced to convert her religion.

She later wrote to the Blue House, as shown on its complaints webpage in June 2017, sharing her experiences alongside an article pleading for the immediate shutdown of the Cult Counseling Office of Korea, legal punishment for coercive conversion pastors and the enactment of a prohibition on religious discrimination etc. Her plea fell on deaf ears and she was eventually murdered.
 

Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs (HAC) held a press conference in front of the Blue House urging for the prohibition of the coercive conversion program on the 29th.
Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs (HAC) held a press conference in front of the Blue House urging for the prohibition of the coercive conversion program on the 29th. 


Following Ms. Ji-In Gu's death, members of the HAC appealed to the Blue House, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the judicial authorities for immediate countermeasures. However, government agencies responded by saying that, in spite of the constitutional enshrinement of ‘Freedom of Religion’, they could not intervene in religious matters because of the significant influence of the established denomination.

The HAC emphasized that they have received “More than 150 cases of coercive conversion this year." Moreover, "while the government continues to tread lightly around the established denomination, there have been countless victims since the death of Ms. Ji-In Gu.”

Through its statement that day, the HAC continued by saying “Some pastors continue to willingly abet coercive conversion for monetary gain as they evade legal punishment and think they can violate and dictate others’ rights.”

Subsequently, it emphasized “We have been carrying out a signing campaign urging for the prohibition of the coercive conversion program after the incident concerning Ms. Ji-In Gu. More than one million people have now joined the campaign. Even people overseas couldn’t contain their astonishment about the reality of human rights treatment in the Republic of Korea. It's now time for the government to take this seriously.”

In the meantime, the HAC is busy preparing to host an extensive one-year commemorative event of Ms. Ji-In Gu's passing in her hometown of Gwangju on the 6th January.
 

The Gwangju Jeonnam branch of the Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs held a rally near the History Repository of 5.18 Korean Democracy Movement, Dong-Gu, Gwangju on the 21st last month, appealing for the enactment of the prohibition of the coercive conversion program in commemoration of Ms. Ji-In Gu, who was suffocated to death by her parents whilst refusing the coercive conversion program.



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