“This is the first religious persecution in the post-war history, and it could also greatly undermine Japanese constitutionalism” – Haruhisa Nakagawa, President, Japan Christian Theological Institute
Washington, DC, Oct. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“This is the first religious persecution in the post-war history,
and it could also greatly undermine Japanese constitutionalism”
– Haruhisa Nakagawa, President, Japan Christian Theological Institute
Center for Studies on New Religions’ Bitter Winter
Publishes an Analysis by a Leading Japanese Christian Theologian on the
Japan Family Federation for World Peace and Unification/Unification Church Issue
“Half-truths,” “false claims” and “misinformation” are being used to dissolve the religion,
says theologian Haruhisa Nakagawa, a longtime critic of the Unification Church
TORINO, Italy (September 29, 2023) Bitter Winter, a magazine of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), has been following the Japanese government’s unusual and intrusive investigation—and possibly liquidation—of a minority religion, which began after the July 2022 assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Today, Bitter Winter is publishing an analysis by a leading Japanese Christian theologian who, despite his opposition to the Japan Family Federation for World Peace and Unification/Unification Church, is alarmed by the government’s mistreatment of it. This two-part series, by Haruhisa Nakagawa, president of Japan Christian Theological Institute, will run September 29-30, 2023.
Mr. Nakagawa decries the Japanese media’s one-sided and sensationalistic coverage of the Japan Family Federation and its ready acceptance of baseless or exaggerated claims against it. “However, the erroneous information and its sources have remained unchanged and uncorrected… In reality, there should be a stern call for, ‘Enough!’” he writes.
“We have now heard of widespread and blatant discrimination against Family Federation members, as they are denied access to public spaces, blocked from renting apartments, and denied commercial services like printing materials,” said Dr. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist who serves as editor-on-chief of Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights published by CESNUR.
“Because of things like this, we regard what is happening in Japan as the worst current religious liberty crisis in a democratic country,” said Dr. Introvigne. “It is important that a prominent Japanese Christian theologian, and one who has been known for years as a theological opponent of the Unification Church, has decided to speak up and remind the Japanese authorities that religious liberty should be guaranteed also to minorities slandered by the media.”
Mr. Nakagawa argues that the public has only heard “half of the truth.” Critical (and exculpatory) information that has been left out includes the Family Federation’s effective reforms in its fundraising practices, and its believers’ hidden suffering at the hands of “modern-day witch trials,” with illegal kidnappings, confinements, and deprogramming.
The human rights violations of Family Federation believers are so outrageous that Mr. Nakagawa concludes that: “This is the first religious persecution in the post-war history, and it could also greatly undermine Japanese constitutionalism.”
Mr. Nakagawa’s article was originally published September 22, 2023 in the Christian web magazine, SALTY.
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Links to Bitter Winter articles on theologian Nakagawa’s analysis (Parts 1 and 2)
Massimo Introvigne Center for Studies on New Religions, "Bitter Winter" +39011541950 email@example.com