Cheonji News: Awareness Campaign on Coercive Conversion Goes International
New York Times advertisement titled 'Ban Coercive Conversion' was released in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the death of Ji-in Gu of Hwasun, Jeonnam in South Korea. She was kidnapped and forced to give up her vested rights due to the demands of a church determined to change her religion. The ad brings this serious issue back into focus.
NEW YORK, December 6, 2018 (PressRelease.com) - The death of Ji-in Gu (27) occurred on Jan. 9, 2018, at a recreational resort in Hwasun, Jeonnam. Ms. Gu’s suffocation was categorized as an accidental killing. Before her death, Ms. Gu had written a petition to the president of South Korea asking for the Korean Heresy Consultation Center to be shut down and demanded the coercive conversion pastors to be subject to penalty by law. Amendments to the law regarding religious freedom were also part of the petition. She was passionate about the need for governmental action because she was a victim of coercive conversion and was consistently in fear of being retargeted, as previously reported by Cheonji News.
According to the Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs (HAC), there were 137 reported victims of the coerced conversion thus far in 2018.
The organization voices concern there will be more violent recurrences similar to what happened to Gu.
For the past year, the media has covered the coerced conversions as a serious violation of human rights and the tragic death of Ji-in Gu. In fact, since the death of Ji-in Gu, 23 campaigns to bring awareness and fight against coercive conversion have been launched in 15 countries. Media outlets from 23 countries have actively reported on the events to support the effort. However, in South Korea, there have been attempts to sweep these injustices under the rug.
Fortunately, as a result of the international media community coming together, much attention has been brought to this violation of human rights. Donations have been gathered for the one-year anniversary of the death of Ms. Ji-in Gu. Citizens of humanity gathered to inform the public of the current situation of religious oppression by placing a full-page ad in the acclaimed national U.S. newspaper The New York Times in late November 2018.
Jin-Myoung Gi, the director of the Human Rights Bureau of Gwangju, South Korea, also participated in the sponsorship of the advertisement. He stated sadly, "The coercive conversion still continues even after the one-year anniversary of Ms. Ji-in Gu’s death. I hope the ad will inform the world about the reality of coerced conversion in South Korea.”
The full-page ad urged the public to “Join the protest against the Christian Council of Korea and Coercive Conversion.”