About Coercive Religious Conversion Program
About "Coercive Religious Conversion Program"
1. What is Coercive Religious Conversion Program?
Coercive Religious Conversion Program is a compulsory education program with the purpose of converting others. Most targets for this program are newly rising religious congregations who don’t belong to The christian council of Korea(CCK) nor established denominations. While coercive religious conversion program is known as cult counseling, the process of this program accompanies compulsory purpose and physical/mental violence.
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2. Scale and Degree of Victim
According to Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs(HAC), The victims of coercive religious conversion program numbered about 1,000 from year 2003 to 2017, which caused two deaths.
In a survey of 900 people from 2003 to March 2015, 55 percent of the victims claimed they were threatened and brainwashed during the coercive religious conversion program and 52 percent claimed they were imprisoned. In addition, 42 percent of the victims were taken to coercive religious conversion program by kidnapping. It was even reported that 2 percent which equals to 10 people were hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals for not being converted.
When it came to mental injury during coercive conversion program, 77.4 percent of the victims which equals to 363 people out of 494 felt extreme fear caused by a violent environment. And it was found that the number of people who suffered from mental disorders and stress due to the conversive program process and the environment was 322 people which is 65 percent.
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3. Specific cases
1) The late Ms. Gu.
The incident occurred on January 18, 2018 in Hwasun, Jeollanam-do, when parents attempted to convert their daughter(Ms. Gu)'s religion which led to death.
The coercive religious conversion program that her parents gave it to their daughters began in July 2016. They imprisoned her at the Catholic monastery in Jangseong-gun, Jeollanam-do and She was forced to take the religious conversion program by a pastor and missionaries of Gwangju Korea Christian Heterodox Counsellor and escaped after she imprisoned for 44 days.
After the incident, the parents took their daughter to a pension in Hwasun, Jeollanam-do. They were on a family trip at 5:40 p.m. on December 30, 2017, and were suspected of choking her by blocking her mouth and nose.
2) The late Mrs. Kim
In 2007, the former husband visited a woman in her 40s and beat her to death with hammer in Ulsan since she refused to take the religious conversion program. It turned out that there were conversion pastors behind her former husband.
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4. Rally for enactment of law against the coercive religious conversion program
On February 4, 2018, Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs(HAC) held a large-scale rally in seven cities, including Seoul, demanding the punishment of coercive religious conversion program and coercive conversion pastor.
Among them, some 25,000 HAC members and citizens gathered in front of head office of The christian council of Korea(CCK) in Jongro-gu Yeonja-dong and CBS in Mok-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul to demand the punishment of the people involved in the coercive religious conversion program and the enactment of law against the coercive religious conversion program.
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