NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Several human rights leaders and Christian pastors, stoked by a recent documentary on Japanese human rights abuses that aired on Korean television station SBS on October 6, held a press briefing today outside Japan's Consulate in New York to proclaim their discontent with the Japanese government.
Dr. Luonne Rouse, United Methodist Church Pastor, delivered remarks. He was supported by Luke Higuchi, president of the Survivors Against Forced Exit, the Rev. Michael Jenkins, chairman of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, and the Rev. Jesse Edwards. Several victims of Japanese abduction and attempted deprogramming attended the event to share their stories and answer questions. Numerous members of the Korean and Japanese media attended.
The documentary titled "Kidnapping and Confinement in the Unification Church – Kiyomi Returns Home After 13 Years" inspired today's protest and detailed the abduction and confinement of several members of the Unification Church, a matter of persecution that occurs daily in Japan at the hands of religious deprogrammers. The documentary has garnered a large amount of attention in Korea and is gaining notoriety within the Korean-American community.
"The Japanese government is turning a blind eye to this persecution," said Dr. Rouse. "It's time to stop the abductions and free the victims. We must protest religious freedom and human rights."
The protest concluded with Dr. Rouse and supporters walking into the Japanese Consulate and hand-delivering a letter directly to an aid of the Honorable Shinichi Nishmiya, the Consulate General. The letter requests a meeting between the Ambassador, human rights leaders, and several of the Japanese victims currently living in the U.S. to share stories of persecution and discuss steps to remedy the current situation.
Over the past 40 years, an estimated 4,300 members of the Unification Church have been subjected to human rights violations of this nature. Between ten to 20 Unification Church members are currently abducted each year in Japan to undergo forced de-conversions.
In the U.S., American citizens are being encouraged to sign a petition encouraging Congress to hold hearings on human rights violations in Japan. Specifically, the hearing would be held by the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights, co-chaired by Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA).
For more information on the Japan abduction issue: http://stopjapanabductions.org/
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The International Coalition for Religious Freedom is a non-profit, non-sectarian, educational organization dedicated to defending the religious freedom of all, regardless of creed, gender or ethnic origin.
SOURCE International Coalition for Religious Freedom