“Please search for the 6,500 women missing from the mass wedding ceremony,” victim’s families appealed.
[Translated from the Japanese]
Christian Today January 23, 2006 14:36
＊ This paper is an ecumenical news media that provides information to the general Christian public.
Christian churches dealing with problems connected with the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (Unification Church) in Japan – the Christian Churches Liaison Conference on the Unification Church Problem – held their first joint meeting with Korean church representatives. In the meeting, it was required from Japanese side to cooperate in the search for almost 6500 Japanese women lost after participating in mass wedding ceremonies in South Korea. The Korean representatives agreed to make efforts to solve this problem by cooperating with religious organizations.
The forum was held on the 18th and 19th January in The Centennial Hall in South Korea. Representatives of the Victim’s Relatives Association attended from Japan and reported, “we have lost contact with those women after they went to South Korea for the mass wedding ceremonies” and requested the active cooperation of the Korean Churches.
On the 19th the Japanese and Korean representatives issued a joint statement.
The statement included the following points: 1) cooperation in setting up an advice center for the missing 6,500 Japanese women; 2) leading of found victims to Japanese Churches; 3) thorough exchange of information to seek countermeasures against the Unification Church problems.
It was also agreed that the Japanese and Korean churches would cooperate with the committee tackling the Unification Church’s infiltration of Yeosu city in South Korea. Japanese representatives pointed out that the Unification Church sponsored development in Yeosu is supported by funds stolen from Japanese victims, and stated their aim to thoroughly investigate the source of the funds to stop the development in Yeosu by the Unification Church.
Twenty-eight representatives attended this forum from member organizations of the Christian Churches Liaison Conference on the Unification Church Problem – Japan Catholic Church, United Church of Christ in Japan, Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan / The Anglican Church in Japan, Japan Baptist Conference, Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, Korean Christian Church in Japan, National Network of Lawyers against Spiritual Sales and the Victim’s Relative Association.
From the Korean side, 21 representatives attended from organizations such as The Countermeasure Committee against Heresies, The Presbyterian Church of Korea (Tonghab), The Counseling Center for Pseudo Christianity at the Kosin Presbyterian Church in Korea and The Christian Council of Korea for Measures on the Unification Church.
This was the first time such a gathering took place involving members from Korea and Japan such as Christian pastors, lawyers, and victim representatives to discuss measures against the Unification Church problems.
Japanese text here:
MARRIAGE AS A PILGRIMAGE TO THE FATHERLAND:
The case of Japanese women in the Unification Church
by Ms. Hyun-Mee Kim.
This report was published in Korea on March 3, 2016:
Drawing on cases of Japanese women’s conversion narratives and everyday practices of married life, this article examines the religious nature of transnational marriage between Japanese women and Korean men through the Unification Church. I use the term pilgrimage from these women’s perspective, because they view their marriages as a religious journey for salvation to the ‘fatherland’ of Reverend Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, and not based on romance or economic motivation. These Japanese women aspire to fulfil the mission of accomplishing ‘a true family’ for world peace through marriage with Korean men who they had never met in person earlier. A true family, according to the Unification Church, is the only way of reaching salvation, through marriage that transcends race, religion and the nation-state. I explore how the Unification Church propagates the notion of repentance and salvation, by making the Japanese women who follow them to become unconditionally devoted subjects of the Korean patriarchal family and church.
Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, Volume 22, Issue 1, 2016, pages 16-34.
Notes on contributor
KIM Hyun Mee is professor at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Graduate Program in Culture and Gender Studies, Yonsei University, South Korea. Her research interests include gender and migration, feminist cultural theories, city and human ecology and globalization and labor. She is the author of Cultural Translation in a Global Era (2005) and We always leave home: Becoming migrants in South Korea (2014), and co-editor of Intimate Enemy: How Neoliberalism has become our everyday lives (2010), and We are all people with differences: Towards multiculturalism for co-existence (2013). She was a Committee Member of the Division of Human Rights for Foreigners, National Human Rights Commission of Korea (2008–2010) and is a member of the Forum on Human Rights for Migrant Women in South Korea.
Abstract in Korean
이 논문은 통일교를 통해 이루어지는 일본인 여성과 한국인 남성 간의 초국적 결혼의 종교적 성격에 대한 연구다. 한국에 거주하는 일본 여성들을 대상으로 한 심층면접을 통해 이들의 개종서사와 결혼 생활의 일상적인 실천을 분석한다. 일본인 여성들은 한국 남성과의 국제결혼을 일종의 종교적 순례로 이해한다. 즉, 로맨스나 경제적인 동기에 의해 추동된 결혼이 아니라, 구원을 위해 통일교의 창시자인 문 목사의 ‘조국’으로 오는 종교적 여정으로 보는 경향이 강하다. 면접에 참여한 일본인 여성들은 세계 평화를 위해 ‘참가정’을 이룩하라는 종교적 임무를 완수하고자 하고, 결혼 이전에는 일면식도 없는 한국인 남자와 결혼한다. 통일교에 따르면 구원에 이르기 위한 유일한 길은 참가정을 이룩하는 것이며, 이는 인종, 언어, 국민 국가를 초월하는 교차적이며 가교적 결혼을 통해 가능하다. 이 논문은 통일교가 일본인 여성을 한국의 가부장적 가족과 교회에 무조건적으로 헌신적인 주체를 만들면서 회개와 구원의 개념을 구성해가는 방식을 분석한다.
Keywords: Japan, South Korea, gender, pilgrimage, religion, transnational marriage, Unification Church
Keywords: 순례, 일본, 젠더, 종교, 국제결혼, 통일교, 한국