Women’s Group Leader Condemns Forced Conversion in Japan
Washington , DC – Wealthy, democratic Japan is not ordinarily thought of as an abuser of human rights. But in that nation today, literally thousands of adults – 80 percent of them women -- have been kidnapped by their family members and subjected to forced conversions because of their chosen faith. The abuse of human rights and dignity embodied in these kidnappings cries out for our attention -- and must end! The victimizations are going unpunished by the authorities because the Japanese government views them as "family matters."
"The institutions of the Japanese legislature, courts, and media must be brought to bear to halt the immediate intolerable abuses," said Angelika Selle, president of the Women's Federation for World Peace USA (WFWP). "However, to achieve a true long-term, sustainable solution to the problem, the institution of the Japanese family must be addressed," she added.
“It is important to remember that our aim is to approach this and all issues with a mother's heart, trying to create harmony in the family. Before we can wish to create harmony in the family, we must have harmony within ourselves as women. By recognizing our value and taking care of ourselves we can approach this and any obstacle with 'the logic of love.' We believe that this is the key to bringing about lasting peace and resolution of the human rights issue in Japan," Selle said.
Her statement was given on the eve of a public-awareness event March 19, 2013, sponsored by the George Washington University chapter of Amnesty International at Marvin Center, Room 311 from 8:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. The gathering students and activists will hear from several Japanese members of the Unification Church who survived kidnapping, torture and attempts to make them recant their faith in the course of months or years.
WFWP is dedicated to developing women's innate abilities to lead with love. Its special focus is to discover and empower the young women leaders of the future, and to help them develop as reconcilers and peacemakers.
Documents and/or Photos available for this release:
Angelika Selle, president of Women's Federation for World Peace and Unification, USA
Yury Higuchi, student member of Amnesty International at George Washington University.
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