Violation of human rights in the democratic South Korea

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SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In October 2018, the European Parliament Intergroup, Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance (FoRB&RT), identified North Korea as one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom and accused the country of the destruction of religious human rights, calling on international cooperation and attention, says HWPL.

Situation is similar in South Korea which is assessed to guarantee the freedom of religion. ‘Coercive conversion program’ where a person’s religious belief is forced to be converted and minor religions suppressed by major religions has been committed. In January last year, a girl in her 20’s was killed in violence caused by the coercive conversion of CCK, the representing main organization of the Presbyterian Church which is the major denomination of South Korea. This case was indeed a wake-up call to the people in America and Europe for the religious human rights issues.

Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) from Belgium and the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) from Italy host a seminar in Seoul, South Korea on November 29th to discuss global human rights abuse cases with 40 legal experts, journalists, and representatives from civil society organizations.

Last July 3rd, the Coordination of Associations & Private for Freedom of Conscience (CAP-LC) holding a consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Councils presented and submitted the statement on “the Forced Conversion in South Korea” to the UN Human Rights Commission, in order to inform about the coercive conversion committed by CCK which brought death, dissolution of family and psychological trauma to more than 1,200 Korean citizens.  In an official letter, signed by 15 international NGOs including HRWF, to the South Korean President Moon Jae-In said, “South Korea may well be the last democratic country in the world where the coercive conversion program is still tolerated” and reported the reality of the coercive conversion. 

International attention and demand is required to abolish the coercive conversion program where violation of human rights is committed against global trends and to establish legal protection that ensures human rights and religious freedom.

Meanwhile, one of the representative denomination that suffered from coercive conversion committed in South Korea is Shincheonji Church of Jesus which is the newly-rising denomination, and this is the representative case where new denomination is being suppressed by the traditional religion. Nevertheless, on last 10th of November, Sincheonji Church of Jesus held the graduation ceremony to celebrate the production of 103,764 graduates this year.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

So Hee Kim
+ 49 151 43444 546 (Germany)

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Globe Newswire: 10:07 GMT Wednesday 27th November 2019

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