Monday, April 12, 2010
Japanese Unificationists Believed to Be Resisting
Press release follows my comments
One of the most beautiful things religions teach us is
living for the sake of others; seriously, when we are
concerned about ourselves, and each one of us becomes
utterly selfish, and care about ourselves in the moments of
our strength, what happens to us in our vulnerable moments?
Religions help us sustain peace and balance in the society
in the times of our spiritual, physical and societal ups and
downs. Living for the sake of others is not a charity or
even a noble thing to brag about; it is indeed the pragmatic
thing to do.
There is a joy in doing “good” to others and we have plenty
of opportunities every day of our life, we need to be
unselfish to serve our selfish interests. Here is an
opportunity to support the religiously persecuted in Japan.
The least we can do is sign a petition, would you put your
name if we present it to you?
For Immediate Release:
United States: Dan Fefferman: 301-789-1589; firstname.lastname@example.org
Unification Church in Japan: 03-3467-3181. Yoshio Mitoma;
Japanese Unificationists Believed to Be Resisting
Courtesy of www,Familyfed.org:
It is believed that three young Japanese Unification Church
members who went
missing several months ago are enduring psychological
harassment after having been confined and held against their
will because of their faith, according to Mr. Shunsuke
Uotani, a Unification Church member and vice-secretary
general of the Universal Peace Federation in Japan. These
missing members are Momoyo Yamada (31, kidnapped Sept. 18,
2009), Fusako Tomoda (22, kidnapped Jan. 15, 2010), and
Yoshiko Majima (31, kidnapped Feb. 7, 2010).
However, it is believed that professional faithbreakers were
successful in persuading Yuko Majima (60, confined since
October, 2009), Masako Kudo (35, confined for nearly 2
years), and Takashi Nishikawa (26, confined in August, 2009)
to renounce their faith. These persons were reported to be
under confinement on www.Familyfed.org on Feb. 2, 2010.
“We have determined that they are not under detention. They
indicated that they renounced their faith -- although we do
not know whether their statements are true or disguised,”
Mr. Uotani tells familyfed.org by email.
Some Unificationists held against their will have pretended
to renounce their beliefs in order to escape confinement.
Mr. Toru Goto, held by his family for more than 12 years,
signed such renunciation letters. Mr. Goto is currently the
president of the Japanese Victims' Association Against
Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion and has spoken
out frequently during the last year against the scandal of
selective enforcement of the law protecting Japanese
citizens from kidnapping. He revealed in 2008 that his
family had starved him almost to death during the last year
of confinement in an effort to break his will.
Mr. Goto and other victims gave their testimonies to
representatives of human-rights organizations meeting at the
recently-concluded 13th Session of the Human Rights Council
in Geneva, Switzerland, according to Rev. Peter Zoehrer, an
official of the Vienna-based Forum for Religious Freedom.
Several victims also have been interviewed by U.S.
government officials in Japan.
Since 1969 more than 4,300 members of the Unification Church
have been kidnapped and confined by misguided relatives and
opponents of the church, according to Mr. Dan Fefferman,
President of the International Coalition for Religious
Freedom. Some of the victims have been beaten, sexually
assaulted or tortured while in captivity.
Mr. Goto’s public awareness campaign has motivated his
opponents to publish their counter-attack in the April issue
of Monthly Times, a Japanese news magazine. In the article,
Mr. Yoshifu Arita, an independent journalist, reports his
roundtable discussion with three veteran critics of the
Unification Church: Prof. Sadao Asami, a professor of
religion who also describes himself as a cult expert, Mr.
Hiroshi Yamaguchi, a lawyer and Mr. Takashi Miyamura,
professional anti-cult activist who attempted to break Mr.
Toru Goto. Monthly Times did not contact Mr. Goto or any
other Unification Church member for comment. All
participants in the discussion deny that kidnapping and
confinement of Unificationists takes place as charged by Mr.
Goto. Prof. Asami speculates in the article that Mr. Goto
falsely claims that he was starved while in confinement,
suggesting that Mr. Goto starved himself.
The journal has been denounced by Japanese-speaking
residents of the United States who have endured kidnapping
and psychological torture at the hands of professional
faithbreakers in Japan. Mr. Hiroshi Jimbo, a Japanese member
of the Unification Church residing in New Jersey tells
familyfed.org that the article is unbalanced and misleading.
Mr. Jimbo heads an organization of U.S. residents who
survived coercive conversion in Japan and who are demanding
that the U.S. government investigate the kidnapping scandal
“As the representative of U.S. Victim Association, when I
read the article, I was amazed at the attitude of those
featured in the Times,” Mr. Jimbo tells Familyfed.org. “They
asserted their innocence that there was no evidence of
confinement, but it is a fact that I and many of my fellow
Unificationists have experienced the physical confinement
where the only exit is to give up the faith and surrender,”
Mr. Jimbo continued: “Inside the closed room, abuse and
assault are taking place, even there are cases of harassment
or rape., Some of victims suffer Post Traumatic Stress
Syndrome. Some ended up committing suicide. The promoters of
this coercion need to hide such matters, which is why they
made this article,” he commented.
Dan Fefferman, President, ICRF
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Greenbelt, MD 20770-3607
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