On January 28, 120,000 citizens in Seoul and major cities of South Korea, gathered to protest against forced conversion “education” by Christian pastors and to create an establishment of legal framework for punishment of violent behavior in the name of religion.
The Human Rights Association for Forced Conversion (HRAFC) group, a South Korean civil society organization promoting social recognition of human rights violation by religion, held this rally for the punishment of Christian pastors who have “consultation” with money and encourage families to kidnap their members who have different religious orientations. Recently, a 25-year-old woman, Ms. Ji In Gu was kidnapped and confined in a vacation home and found dead after she was suffocated by her parents.
HRAFC claims that the death is a typical case of forced conversion for the following reasons. First, Ms. Gu was out of contact after she told her friends that she would be with her family at a gathering. Second, the vacation home where she was found dead was reserved for three months. Third, physical violence between Ms. Gu and her parents led to her death while the parents stated that she was suffocated while they were “persuading” their daughter.
Back in July 2016, Ms. Gu fell victim to these horrendous attacks for the first time. At that time, she had been taken in to a Catholic monastery for 44 days and forced to have “conversion education” by a pastor.
These religious organizations claim to be helping and creating religious freedom. They have even threatened to come to other countries to employ their illegal activities. When will there be an end to these activities? For churches and those involved in religious freedom here in the United States, it is imperative to make known the dangers surrounding these practices.
As a Christian church here in San Jose and the Bay Area, we must do our best to protect ourselves from these organization and make known their illegal activities.