“Stop the Oppression” is the latest call aimed at getting Justice for Victims of Forced Religious Conversion.
This took center stage at the just-ended Washington, D.C., Chapter of the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) hosted a webinar on September 30, 2020 focused on COVID-19’s negative impact on gender-based violence.
Forced Religious Conversion must stop
The webinar also touched on the issue of forced religious conversion (also known in Korea as coercive conversion), currently taking place in the Republic of Korea, and how the pandemic has heightened such practices affecting women of faith abroad.
Coercive conversion practices subject victims to physical and psychological abuse to “convert” them from one faith to another religion.
Women have been disproportionately impacted by coercive conversion programs and have been subjected to violence, in some cases even resulting in death.
IWPG highlighted the topic during the webinar because of the recent uptick in cases.
The organization also rolled out the ‘Stop the Oppression’ online petition to gather additional support against this practice.
IWPG is headquartered in the Republic of Korea. The organization was established in November 2013 and has more than 760,000 members, over 100 branches, and 152 partner organizations in over 40 countries. IWPG’s main initiatives include supporting and enacting peace legislation and women peace education.
IWPG works closely with Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a non-profit, non-governmental peace organization founded for global peace and war cessation.
Chairman Lee Man-hee leads HWPL and IWPG. He equally heads the religious minority group, Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
In recent months, the church has been under public scrutiny. Chairman Lee was arrested in August due to the COVID-19 outbreak amongst Shincheonji church members and accused of allegedly obstructing justice by withholding information from investigators.
Allegations, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) denounced as ‘scapegoating’ in a scathing report on religious freedom.
The 90-year-old Chairman remains detained today.
As a direct result of the public backlash, many of the church’s followers, especially the church’s female congregation members, have fallen victim to coercive conversion.
To support IWPG’s stance against women’s rights violations, coercive conversion, and help shed light on Chairman Lee’s unjustified detainment, please help sign the petition below.
#Stop the Oppression Campaign