24.5 C
Brunei
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
24.5 C
Brunei
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
More
    - Advertisement -

    Japan enacts law to help Unification Church donation victims

    TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s Parliament yesterday enacted a law to restrict malicious donation solicitations by religious and other groups, which mainly targets the Unification Church, whose fundraising tactics and cozy ties with the governing party caused public outrage.

    The South Korean-based religious group’s decades-long ties with Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party surfaced after the July assassination of former leader Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sought to calm public fury over his handling of the scandal and has replaced three Cabinet ministers – one over his church ties, another over a capital punishment gaffe and a third over political funding problems.

    The new law, approved at this year’s closing parliamentary session, allows believers, other donors and their families to seek the return of their money and prohibits religious groups and other organisations from soliciting funds by coercion, threats or linking donations to spiritual salvation. The law’s passage was one of Kishida’s top priorities. He is expected to explain the law at a news conference.

    Abe was fatally shot at an outdoor campaign rally in July. The suspect told police he killed Abe because of his apparent links to the church. A letter and social media postings attributed to the suspect said large donations by his mother to the church bankrupted his family and ruined his life.

    A police investigation led to revelations of widespread ties between the church and members of the governing party over shared interests in anti-communist and conservative causes.

    The case also shed light on the suffering of children of church followers, including some who said they were forced to join the church or were left in poverty or neglected by their parents’ devotion.

    The Education Ministry, which is in charge of religious issues, formally started an investigation into the church. It could potentially lead to a court decision revoking the group’s legal status.

    Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. PHOTO: AP
    - Advertisement -
    - Advertisement -
    spot_img

    Latest article

    - Advertisement -
    spot_img