The late Gu Ji-In (25 years old)
(1992. 9.10 - 2018. 1.9)
We commemorate the unfortunate death of the victimized youth.
The following is the late Ji-in Gu’s petition to the Blue House after she was kidnapped, confined, and forced to convert her religion in July 2016
Hello. I am Ji-in Gu, a Korean young girl in my 20s.
The reason why I am writing to the president is to let you know ridiculous human rights abuses in this territory of the Republic of Korea and to ask you to enact a law that could punish coercive conversion education pastors for violating human rights.
I was a Korean young girl who usually lived happily with my family. But my family's happiness was shattered by the conversion education that forced me to change religion.
I was kidnapped by my family and forced to change my religion being held in captivity for 44 days from July to September 2016, just because I was attending Shincheonji Church.
I had to receive the conversion education under compulsion in an abbey located in Jangseong-gun, Jeollanam-do, where I was led by my family. The people who came to my confined abbey for conversion education were the Head and missionaries of The Counseling Center of Cult Korea.
The Republic of Korea is a country where religious freedom is guaranteed in the Constitution, but I had to continue to listen to compulsory words to change my religion being held in captivity for the first time in my life for more than eight hours a day.
The education has destroyed trust in my family. How can my family do this to me? While I was thinking about it in vexation of spirit, I found out that it was the people in the Counseling Center of Cult Korea who ordered my family to kidnap and lock up.
I found the fact that there is not only me, but also more than 1,000 Korean young men who experienced human rights abuses such as kidnapping and confinement because of this compulsory conversion education.
My sister, who knew nothing, took a leave of absence from elementary school at which she had been working well to keep an eye on me, younger sister, until I had finished conversion education, as the Head of the Korean Church heretic counseling center ordered. And my mother resigned as social worker. But also we had a hard time because of deep emotional chasm between us.
Since then, it took so a long time to clear the air with each other and restore the family's affection through dialogue. The wounded hearts of our family from the conversion education have not yet fully healed.
Dear Mr. President
I think it is absolutely ridiculous that in a society called the Republic of Korea religious freedom is denied, kidnapping, confinement and compulsory conversion education, which is an abuse of human rights, are being done.
But the people in The Counseling Center of Cult Korea, who ordered everything, used their families to prohibit themselves from being punished legally. And they only say that they did it at the request of parents. I can't appeal to anyone for my victimized soul, so I am writing to the president.
Make this ridiculous act stop legally. You must change your religion and even should be locked up somewhere if you don’t have his religion using the nameplate of The Counseling Center of Cult Korea.
I sincerely ask for shutdown of counseling center of cult religion, legal punishment of coercive conversion education pastors and legislation against religious discrimination.
I hope there won't be any more victims like me.
Thank you for reading the long writing, Mr. President.
Ji-in Gu, a Korean young girl.
June 4, 2017