On 27 January, 30,000 citizens and 100 civil society groups gathered for a demonstration against a series of social disturbance by a Korean Christian complex at Gwangwhamun Square in Seoul, where symbolic political and social movements are run, including the recent democratic Candlelight Revolution.
“Global Citizens’ Human Rights Coalition to Call for the Shutdown of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK)”, a newly founded federation of 100 civil society groups from the field of women, youth and religions, held “Press Conference and Rally to Call for the Shutdown of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK), an Anti-Nation, Anti-Society, Anti-Religion, and Anti-Peace Organization.”
According to the Coalition, this event was organized “to disclose the reality of the CCK as a representative Christian majority receiving an indulgence for itself from committing anti-social crimes.”
“The CCK originates its identity from the Presbyterian Church that led worship for shrine and emperor under the Japanese colonial times. For the last 10 years, it has been reported that 12,000 Christian pastors have been convicted of criminal activities including murder, sexual assault, and frauds,” said Mr. Shin Chang Kim, Secretary General of the Coalition.
“The CCK’s orientation started from its foundation when it was created to support the military dictatorship back in the 1960s. This alliance between politics and Christianity led to pastors free from ethical and civic responsibility. We have seen many of them exchange their pastorship with money and coercive conversion for their profit, many of which had been silenced in media because of its power,” added Mr. Kim.
In the official statement, it said, “In case of the rise of denominations that do not belong to the CCK, fake news is produced to judge them as “cult”. Also, women are targeted to force them to convert while they are confined. The recent death of two women in the coercive conversion shows how the life of citizens and human rights are at risk before the CCK.”
In the name of participating organizations, the Coalition called on “enactment of a special law against coercive conversion programs to enhance freedom of religion.” The Coalition includes International Women’s Peace Human Rights Commission, Christian Association for Anti-Corruption National Movement, IPYG Youth’s Human Rights Committee, and World Buddhist Summit.