Tuesday, December 25, 2018

[IWPG] IWPG Rebukes Korean Church's 'Sex Crimes and Coercive Conversion', Urging for Countermeasures against Women's Rights Violations


[IWPG] IWPG Rebukes Korean Church's 'Sex Crimes and Coercive Conversion', Urging for Countermeasures against Women's Rights Violations

Crimes committed by pastors are a very common incident in Korea these days. The Church of Love in Korea where its pastor is accused of plagiarism. 

In line with significant national economic growth from the 1970s to 1990s, the Korean church has experienced dramatic and exponential growth as the number of its church members increased to 12million.

However, as quickly as the 'good side' of the Korean church grew bright, its 'dark side' became darker and darker with stories of murder, coercive conversion, burglary, forgery and plagiarism. Church pastors have lost their credibility and betrayed their members' confidence. As a result, the number of congregation members in the Korean church has fallen to 1.9 million today.

The most shocking crime that has frequently happened within the Korean church are sex crimes committed by pastors, infringing on human rights (women's rights in particular) and killing female church members' spirit. What's more tragic is the fact that many teenagers have fallen victim to a sexual 'grooming' practice.

Pastors who committed such crimes were considered by their congregation members to be trustworthy and passionate about God's work, but, instead, their hearts were broken.

Meanwhile, there are people who have refused to idly watch and let their evil deeds go unreported; people who want to protect women's rights and the peace. IWPG (International Women's Peace Group, Chairwoman: Hyunsook Yoon, a women's peace organization under HWPL) has been working for world peace and women's rights globally.

On 13 December 2018, IWPG and the World Women Peace and Human Rights Committee (Chairwoman: Seoyeon Lee) hosted a press conference urging for the dissolution of the CCK (Christian Council of Korea), which is violating women's rights through its coercive conversion programme and sex crimes committed against women. It is urging for countermeasures against the violation of women's rights.

Now, let's take a look at some cases of sex crime committed within the Korean church :

- Pastor Jae-rok Lee of Manmin Joong-Ang church : Sentenced to 15 years imprisonment at his 1st trial for regular sexual assault of 7 female church members. Infringement of female church members' rights was caused through such abuse.

- Pastor Kim of a church in Incheon : Allegations of multiple cases of sexual assault on young female members (mostly teenagers) of the church for some years.

- A pastor of a Korean church : According to IWPG, he committed sex crimes against female members of his church but still continues to work as a pastor in another church.

IWPG criticized the CCK and its pastors, saying "Religious leaders should serve as positive role models for society, putting love and forgiveness into action. Instead, they are committing crimes and facilitating evil deeds. We have to banish all corrupt pastors who commit such hideous behavior and threaten the lives and human rights of women under the guise of religion"

Seoyeon Lee, the chairperson of the World Women Peace and Human Rights Committee, emphasized that "The Republic of Korea must acknowledge the corruption and reality of the CCK, and has to punish pastors who carry out coercive conversion and sex crimes."

Hyunsook, Yoon. The chairwoman of IWPG

IWPG and the World Women Peace and Human Rights Committee declared and demanded the following:

- Dissolution of the CCK, which is a politically-motivated organisation disguised as a religious one
- Official apology by CCK after their accusations at Ms. Ji-In Gu's memorial
- Legal punishment for coercive conversion pastors
- Establishment of a special law to ban coercive conversion
- Legal punishment and disciplinary action to be taken against pastors who have committed sex crimes
- Issuing an official apology for victims of sex crimes in the Korean church

Writer's comment : I think that it is completely right to demand the disbandment of the CCK and its corrupt pastors. Pastors should teach the correct teachings from the Bible and assume the responsibility of keeping ethical and moral values. If the CCK and its pastors are corrupt, then they must repent to God and their victims and leave their roles as pastors. I don't think their actions qualify them to be pastors. I hope that IWPG and  the World Women Peace and Human Rights Committee win this battle against the corrupt CCK and its pastors in order to protect women's rights in the religious world :)

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