An international body that is mandated with working and restoring peace in the world, Heavenly Cultural World Peace Restoration of life (HWPL) has condemned the Christian council of Korea (CCK) on the ongoing religious in justices in the country.
Rev. Lee A. Thomas Jr. – Pastor of St. Paul AME Church said yesterday that Human rights violations against the religious minority by a major Christian group in Korea cause global criticism
“Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right of to all people. In contrast, the act of the forced conversion of religion is the greatest violation of this right and regrettably continues to occur all over the world. The act of the forced conversion of religion has nothing to do with religion at all. I state it again, it has everything to do with power, control, and politics!” - Rev. Thomas said.
Religions in South Africa seek for joint action to combat forced conversion that is happening in the Korea.
Mr Urgen Sherpa, the President of United Sherpa Association, the United States said,“While we support the idea of freedom to choose one’s religion, our community strongly opposes the forced conversion and we urge the UN to ban such practices. Therefore, today, I urge the UN to work with us to achieve our goal of banning the forced conversion of religion and also changing the attitudes of politicians and bureaucrats around the world.”
On August 9 in South Africa, there was a "Christian Harmony and Peace Seminar" on the theme of guaranteeing freedom of religion and prohibition of the coercive conversion program. The event, hosted by the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the National Interfaith Council of South Africa (NICSA), Gauteng Province Social Development, HWPL and IWPG (International Women’s Peace Group) under the UN ECOSOC, defined such a program as a crime and stressed legal responsibility stipulated in the national law.
Reverend Thamsanqa Mvambo, President of the NICSA, said, “This is a terrible outrage that such people who claim to be believers in Jesus Christ would act in this way using the weapons of the devil against fellow Christians. The CCK and Conversion Pastors should repent immediately.”
“I ask the CCK and pastors who practice and profit from the conversion programmes to immediately and permanently cease such activities. We also call on the lawmakers in the Republic of Korea to make a law prohibiting the coercive conversion programmes and holding pastors who profit from this unaccountable action,” he added.
Some of the countries called to join the struggle to restore peace in South Korea include; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, USA, Germany, Ethiopia, Namibia, Nigeria, France, South Africa. Others are; Nepal, Norway, Korea, Germany, Romania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, USA, Myanmar, Bahrain, Burundi, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Spain, Armenia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, India, Indonesia, Qatar, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Poland, France, Fiji, and South Africa.
At the seminar, an official letter representing the National Interfaith Council of South Africa to the CCK was written and inter-religious cooperation with an association of religious leaders for ending human rights violations caused by the coercive conversion program was discussed.
The crimes committed in the name of religion are the same as wounds of war.
"I shouted out the church window, ‘Help me!’. My family said to me that nobody would listen to me. The police came in when I shouted myself hoarse. I grabbed the police and asked them to get me out of here. "
"Since then I have become extremely sensitive and often have had nightmares without taking a good sleep. Sometimes I thought about suicide, even though I knew it was not right. The experience turned out to be a post-traumatic syndrome like trauma from war or holocaust. "
The reason more than 1,000 people in Korea were taken like the woman is “the coercive conversion program” in recent years. The coercive conversion program is a process in which a Christian pastor encourages the parents to convert their children from other denominational minorities by using violence and persecution in the situation of confinement and kidnapping. It is at the center of the controversy that leads to social divisions ranging from intimidation, verbal abuse, and physical assault, forced leave in the job, divorce, and murder.
According to Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs (HAC), a Korean civil society organization, a Christian pastor called “conversion pastor” has earned more than $850,000 (in US dollars). Also, since illegal acts such as kidnapping are carried out by the family, pastors who instigated the parents behind take advantage of loopholes in the law, so that they can never be punished.
A Worldwide Statement on Anti-Human Rights Crime
They said this phenomenon of violation of the freedom of religion, serious human rights violation, family destruction, and even deprivation of the basic right to life expresses deep concern in the international community. More than 100 leaders from 34 countries have sent the letters of denunciation that strongly condemn the denominations of ministers who have forced to convert.