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HWPL and Shincheonji: NGOs in the UN and Religious Leaders Raise Voices against Repression and Discrimination on Specific Religion in Korea

 
NGOs in association with the United Nations and religious communities in the globe are raising their voices on the need to correct inappropriate persecution and human rights violation against a religious group in South Korea named Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

11 NGOs including European Coordination of Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience (CAP-LC) submitted a report for “annual report for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights” to the UN Secretary General at the 44th session in the UN Assembly Human Rights Council. The report is titled “scapegoating members of Shincheonji for COVID-19 in the Republic of Korea.”

By referring to the report from United States of America Commission of International Religious Freedom, the report to the UN said, “Shincheonji was suffering harassment from the South Korean government and society. Although some government measures appeared to be driven by legitimate public health concerns, others appeared to exaggerate the church’s role in the outbreak.”

“The government of Seoul locked down Shincheonji churches in the capital, and some mainline Protestant groups have accused the church of deliberately spreading the disease,” it continued.

The report stated, “The virus cannot be an excuse to violate human rights and religious liberty of hundreds of thousands of believers. Intolerance, violence, and discrimination against Shincheonji should be put to an end.”

Religious communities initiated to issue statements to advocate improvements in the unequal treatment against Shincheonji.

"The news of Chairman Lee and Shincheonji are being singled out and blamed for COVID-19 spread and sued is deeply concerning to all faith leaders who valued freedom of religion and the protection of human rights. This adverse action shall have chilling repercussions through the religious world," said Mr. Sheikh Musa Drammeh, Chairman of Islamic Cultural Center of North America
Swami Vedanand Saraswati, Hindu Spiritual Head of Arya Samaj in South Africa, said “I implore the South Korean Government and other relevant authorities to immediately drop all charges and lawsuits and rather support the efforts of the Shincheonji Church in encouraging other recoverees to donate their plasma. Let us all follow the noble example set by the Chairman and encourage support towards the fight against COVID-19. “

Recently, Chairman Lee of Shincheonji Church of Jesus encouraged the members who recovered from the COVID-19 to voluntarily join in donation of plasma. Around 4,000 recovered members said they are willing to donate plasma for research on a new treatment.

He said that there have been political motives in persecution of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL (a peace NGO) by “using us (Shincheonji), the victims of COVID-19, as their scapegoat in order to hide their own faults.” He added, “Persecuting peace organizations, religious organizations, and violating human rights must be stopped in Korea.”

Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said from 13th of July, blood plasma donated by 500 Shincheonji church members who have fully recovered from COVID-19 will be used for medicine manufacture after the clinical trials to develop treatments for the virus.

Statement from Hindu Spiritual Leader in South Africa.

To the Peace Messengers Around the World 

Dear messengers of peace groups and religious organizations from around the world,
We are Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and the family 
of faith in Shincheonji Church of Jesus Missions. We are legally registered 
organizations in South Korea, sanctioned by the government. HWPL is also a 
registered organization of the United Nations. Our growth has been on the rise 
exponentially. 
 
On the other hand, the Christian Council of Korea (the CCK, Protestants) worshiped 
and praised the gentile gods (of Japan) as Solomon did (1 Kgs 11). There have been 
about 12,000 convictions for the crimes committed by the pastors who belong to the 
CCK. Their deeds are harmful to the nation, society and religion. At this, we have 
urged them to repent and be born again. However, they did not repent but joined 
hands with those with political powers including President of South Korea (along 
with the Mayor of Seoul, the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, and ministers, among 
others) and revoked our licenses to operate as a peace organization and a religious 
organization. All of this was done despite the fact that the Korean Constitution 
clearly states in Article 20 Clauses 1 and 2, “All citizens shall enjoy freedom of 
religion,” and, “religion and state shall be separated” 
Family of peace from around the world!

The peace messengers of HWPL went around the entire globe 31 times solely for the 
purpose of proclaiming world peace and cessation of war. What is so wrong about 
this? You are our witnesses. We, the peace messengers, promised before God and all 
people of the world to go beyond national borders, races, and religions to achieve 
peace and cessation of war. We promised to leave world peace as a legacy for our 
future generations (during the HWPL World Peace Summit in September of 2014). 
 
Also, the messengers of HWPL visited Mindanao of the Philippines in the midst of 
an ongoing conflict in the region and mediated a civilian peace agreement between 
the two religious groups that were the cause of the conflict. It was a conflict that 
caused at least 120,000 causalities over 40 years, and neither the government, the 
military, nor the law could bring it to a complete end. In commemoration of the 
peace agreement, two peace monuments were erected, and January 24th - the day the 
agreement was signed - was designated as HWPL Day. The people of Mindanao 
promised to participate in our peace work thereafter.
 
Why would they revoke the license of a peace organization with such achievements? 
 
Families from around the world, the peace messengers – do you remember saying 
together for world peace, “We are one,” in our respective places?
 Please gather your strength so the Korean government will stop its oppression,
arrests, and search and seizure. Aren’t we the victims of COVID-19? Why are we
being treated like criminals instead? (Jn 8:3-11, Mt 6:14-15). We did not create
COVID-19. We did not go to China or bring COVID-19 from there to Korea. Despite
this, the Korean politicians, with their biased motives, are revoking the licenses of
our religious organization and peace organization, and are persecuting us to gain
more votes in election seasons. They are using us, the victims of COVID-19, as their
scapegoat in order to hide their own faults.

Not only that, two Shincheonji members were murdered during coercive conversion
programs, one by her husband and another by the parents, with two other members
murdered while being persecuted by their husbands for their faith in Shincheonji
Church. In total, four of our members were killed. Persecuting peace organizations,
religious organizations, and violating human rights must be stopped in Korea.
 
HWPL Peace Advisors, Publicity Ambassadors, International Law Peace Committee
Members, Members of National Assemblies around the world, our friends who
signed MOU and MOA, and the “We are one” peace messengers around the world –
we need you to speak out in one voice, with all of your strength and power.  

Journalists in the press and global media – we need your reporting more than ever.
Please fight for justice until the truth is revealed. Your willingness to speak out for
the weak and powerless will be like medicine that gives life to human rights, world
peace, and our future generations. Your actions today will live on in the history of
mankind. Our level of the knowledge of the Bible and our involvement with the
work of peace and volunteering are the best in the world. Please do see for yourself.
We believe in you. Thank you.  

HWPL Peace Messengers

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