“Please search for the 6,500 women missing from the mass wedding ceremonies,” 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:
Many Japanese women in Korea divorced and returned to Japan with their children in a state of deep dismay
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 37/2: 317–334 2010
Geopolitical Mission Strategy – The Case of the Unification Church in Japan and Korea
Japan presents a useful case for studying new religious movements and their development of public relations and growth strategies, not only because there are large numbers of new religious movements in Japan, but also for the presence of controversial movements such as Aum and the Unification Church. The strategies employed in recruitment and fund-raising have become increasingly important for such movements in Japan—as well as for research on these movements—in the wake of the “Aum Affair.” This article will focus on the strategy employed by the Unification Church, which is broadly perceived as a social problem.
Marriage Brokerage through Mass Weddings
Since the 1990s the UC has arranged for Japanese female members to marry Korean men through dozens of international mass marriage ceremonies. According to the UC magazine for blessed couples in Korea, until this day approximately 7,000 Japanese female members have come to Korea.(4) They believed that they went there to give birth to an ―Immaculate Child [free from sin] blessed by Sun Myung Moon and lead their lives as if in Heaven.
If Korean and Japanese UC members became involved in religious marriages and lives in accordance with their beliefs, such marriages should be respected as religious. In fact, until the 1980s, mass marriages were conducted among UC true believers. But recently, the UC has recruited potential male members and their families who could not find Korean brides. Korean women sought a man with a good job, an education, and housing in a city. Disadvantaged Korean men, who had sought international marriages with Korean Chinese, Filipina, and others who came from economically underdeveloped countries since the 1990s, gained another option provided by the UC to marry with Japanese women.
At the same time, Japanese female members were indoctrinated to believe that a Korean man was the most blessed partner in the world, even if he did not have faith.
Furthermore, in the UC dogma, the Japanese women were persuaded to be obedient to Korean men in the Adam country, because Eve fell first and Japan is the Fallen Eve country. The UC evokes their consciousness of redemption for Sin and disbelief of Christ, and superimposed it onto the memory and compensation for Japanese colonial rule in Korea a century ago.
Tables 2 and 3 show the location of Japanese women who are in local areas and of marriageable age. The capital city of Seoul and the second largest city Busan have more men than women, while particular provincial areas have unnaturally high ratios of Japanese women who are presumed to be the UC members.
Most Korean bridegrooms have no beliefs and no stable job. While Japanese women continued to believe in the UC dogma, they could be happy. However, once they lost their religious faith, they had to acknowledge that they are just foreign brides and, worse still, their disadvantaged marriage would not provide them with stable lives. Not a few Japanese women divorced and returned to Japan with their children in a state of deep dismay. …
In terms of the time course of religious life of UC members, their experience in a way was that of typical adolescence. Western researchers in the field of studies on the UC and other new religious groups, including Barker, cited the self-discovery of youths, the confirmation of their identity, and the desire for social reform as the motives for their conversion. But this argument gets it backwards. In the case of the UC, before they became religious seeker, they were targeted and chosen by the UC through their proselytizing strategies. …
… We may … reasonably conclude that the mission strategy of particular religions first caused seeds of polarization between the religion and society, and then the antagonistic social structure changed the subsequent strategy of the religion, which amplified controversies. The fundraising strategy of the Unification Church in Japan first raised controversy among Japanese; thereby this religion concealed its name and used the threat of the curse of Japanese ancestor worship for gaining new members. Defrauded civilians and former members filed lawsuits and won, while at the same time Japanese society experienced the problems with Aum, which popularized and demonized the concept of “cult” and “mind control” among ordinary Japanese.
This study is limited to a case study of The UC in Japan, yet its research implications shift it from the simple question of whether new religions/cults per se are in conflict with society, into an examination of the conditions by which resulting problems are generated. Moreover, this research suggests that the description of the UC movement should be interpretive and evaluative rather analytical. The transfer of Japanese fundraised money and of brides to Korean UC members may be helpful to Korean society, but at the same time it is harmful to Japanese, because this mission strategy has generated serious financial damage to the general public, as well as causing the disintegration of families in Japan.
As for the issue of ―religion and violence, this should be discussed within its geopolitical context. The historical consciousness between Korea and Japan, as well as resentment and guilt, lies behind the dogma and mission strategy of the UC, in which the religious order of each nation is fixed. This underscores the question of whether the mission strategy of new religions is based simply on global marketing and management, or on certain historical configurations.
Link to the full article:
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
A Korean church insider is ashamed and explains how Sun Myung Moon’s goal was to control all power, money, laws and rules, at least as much as he could get hold of. Moon wanted to set him and his family as a royal family governing as a theocracy – the tragic and shameful truth is that the Moon scam is paid for in blood, poverty, misery, sickness and death by a slave class of Japanese deliberately and cynically exploited. LINK