“Shincheonji was correct and Coercive Conversion Education was wrong, Could not follow what was wrong”
사회 English News

[CCE Victims Union Interview①] “Shincheonji was correct and Coercive Conversion Education was wrong, Could not follow what was wrong”

▲ The Newspaper held a meeting on the topic of ‘Reasons for carrying Shincheonji faith despite the coercive conversion education’ with 6 people deeply involved in this serious issue. The 4 victims those were kidnapped in January and April, and the mother who attempted to kidnap her own son as well as the Representative of Coercive Conversion Education (CCE) Victims Union in the Northern Region of Gyeonggi Province, all together point out the issues of coercive conversion education and urge to solve such problems. ⓒCheonji-ilbo(News-Cheonji)

- Personal Meeting ‘Reasons for carrying Shincheonji faith despite the coercive conversion education’
- 4 people were in coercive conversion education from Pastor Shin this year
- They were tied with cable-ropes and duct tape by their own families, and taken to coercive conversion pastors
- Listening to violent slander whilst confined in a room without a light being penetrated
- Seeing a contradictory coercive conversion education pastor face-to-face gave a stronger conviction that ‘Shincheonji is truth’
- Those victims who were converted were because ‘exhausted and tired’
- Even if the kidnappings are reported to Police, the victims are sent back to their parents at home
- Coercive conversion education is more than a matter of religion, it is a crime on basic human rights
- Number of victims more than a thousand, repetitive damages are at least twice to four times

[Cheonji-ilbo(H.E. Times)=Kang, Su Kyung] It was a big topic when Shincheonji believers gathered and held a large parade on April 29th urging for closure of CBS and Christian Council of Korea (CCK). The extent of seriousness was reemphasized as several Shincheonjibelievers presented their own damaged cases from coercive conversion education and urged for closure of such illegal education via press conference.

6 people, including the 4 victims kidnapped to the education in January and April respectively, the mother (Mi-Jung Park) who attempted to kidnap her own son to the education and Byoung-Hoon Yoon (Representative of Coercive Conversion Education Victims Union in the Northern Region of Gyeonggi Province) attended the meeting on the topic of ‘Reasons for carrying Shincheonji faith despite the coercive conversion education‘on the 24th.

The 4 victims who were all kidnapped by their own parents were in their 20s. Han of John Tribe’s Chambit Church, Pyo of Thaddaeus Tribe’s Daegu Church, Hong Shin of Simon Tribe’s Yeongdeungpo Church are the 4 victims. They commonly shared about the nightmares of the process to coercive conversion education and indeed were horror to hear and learn about it. After only learning that they were keeping in faith of Shincheonji religious doctrine, their parents have contacted coercive conversion education pastors and have suddenly changed violently. What exactly were the details of discussion between parents and pastors, and what have these young people gone through. A series of questions and answers were conducted.


- When and how were you kidnapped to coercive conversion education.

Shin: The 2 men employed by my parents suddenly entered my room and tied both my hands and feet and gagged my mouth with a duct tape in January. I was then taken to Yangpyeong in a motel for confinement and forced to take coercive conversion education for 17 days. The motel room was installed that one cannot exit from the room, but only the education pastors and parents had free access. I realized that my parents planned this in advance with the conversion pastors after they learned about my faith in Shincheonji. It was noteworthy that my parents were particularly nice to me by giving generous pocket money and by having frequent delicious dinners just a few days before the kidnapping.

Hong: Although my parents were aware of my faith in Shincheonji, I believed that they respected my decision in this faith. That came out to be wrong.Late April, my parents suddenly rushed into my room, pressed me hard to eventually tie my wrist and ankle with ropes, and also gagged and blindfolded me. They even ripped my clothes after suspecting if there was any trace detector in my clothes. When I woke up I was in a room all welded in chains. After 20 days of confinement I was able to escape by jumping out of the window on the 3rd floor.

Pyo: I was sleeping at bed in April 1st and a man along with my parents suddenly entered to tie my wrist and ankle and also gagged with duct tapes. I was also blindfolded and taken from my home in Daegu to an apartment in Gumi. Windows were all covered with wooden board so that only a few light could penetrate. My hands hand was tied to my mother’s hand, and was confined in that condition for over a month. My mother’s health worsened, so I pretended as if I was converted so that my mother could get treatment at my sister’s place. During follow-up education in Seoul when the security was loose, Iwas able to escape successfully.

Han: My cousin lured me into a trap when she asked for a dinner at a motel in Jincheon. My parents were already waiting in that motel and confined me into a room all covered with wood boards. My father intimidated me asserting that I will not be able to go out without coercive conversion education. My hands were tied with my father’s. I was not allowed to use the restroom; it was a sexual humiliation because I had to solve urine and feces on a plastic bag beside my father. It was intolerable. After 10 hours of coercive conversion education on a daily basis was a torment both physically and mentally.I had further 21 days of education once I was moved to Guri Church.

▲ Shin has provided the pictures to the Newspaper during the meeting. Shin was rescued by the police officers who were searching for other victims in the same motel in January 17th this year.Coercive Conversion Education (CCE) Victims Union presents damaged cases as a result of coercive conversion education at the Hyewha Police Station, Seoul, in July last year. ⓒCheonji-ilbo(News-Cheonji)

- The environment of coercive conversion education is similar as well as the process of being kidnapped to the education places.

Hong: The windows are all covered with wooden boards and even the ventilator. At some occasions it was even difficult to breathe properly.

Pyo: The ways of locking the doors are all identical; they were all locked from the outside. Again, the windows are all covered by wooden boards so that lights do not penetrate. The main doors are always locked with dual lock-ups.

- How do they check whether you’ve been converted.

Shin: They ordered me to say foul words on the Leader of Shincheonji. With that they would believe that I have been converted.

Hong: That is exactly the same. Logically thinking, it is natural to pay a respect to someone elder, however forcing someone to say horrible words to an elderly is just so absurd and unacceptable.

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