Kidnapping and Abduction Incidents of Japanese Members: Project to resolve the abduction and confinement problem – Pres. Kook Jin Nim

September 5, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea

This commercial law states that when a person is fundraising, he/she should not mention words such as God or spiritual world. That’s the accusation, and yes, we are guilty of that. But did you know that since 1966 our Japanese members have been systematically kidnapped by deprogrammers? For 43 years our members have been kidnapped, beaten, tortured and in some cases raped. And their faith was yanked (forced) away from them. They were forced not to believe in what they sincerely wanted to believe. Were you aware of this fact? This is the reality of our church in Japan, and the government has turned a blind eye towards this criminal kidnapping enterprise. You have the communist attorneys and the Christian ministers who basically trick parents to kidnap their children, and they get paid for it! The ministers get paid to harangue these student members for years, until their faith and souls are broken. Since 1966 there have been over 4,000 cases of kidnapping in Japan. Over 4,000! Yet the government has not made one criminal prosecution – not one! Not one individual has been prosecuted for the criminal kidnapping of over 4,000 people of faith. Can you believe this? Is this reasonable? This is Japan, the second wealthiest nation on earth, where religious freedom is guaranteed in the constitution.

Welcoming Remarks by Rev. Kyle Toffey:

Good afternoon, sisters and brothers! (Good afternoon!) Alright, that’s good. Actually, as I stand before you today, I’m very, very nervous – not necessarily to stand in front of you – but as you know, we are sharing our dearest beloved Hyung Jin Nim with America today. And you know that he’s going to be speaking on Sunday at the Manhattan Center in New York City. So, how many people will show up for that? Actually, they’re calling for people from Washington to Maine and from New York to Ohio to come and see Hyung Jin Nim! (Wooh!) So let us give him a big hand!

What kind of audience do you think they are going to be? What kind of congregants do you think they are going to be? Are they just going to sit down and wait for things to happen, or are they going to be excited to be there? They are very excited, I can tell you. From the emails I’ve been getting, they are so inspired to have Hyung Jin Nim in America. He is making a big hit. So, I’m hoping he will want to come back.

Anyway, let’s have a really good service today, even more so that Hyung Jin Nim is not here, because he needs to believe and trust that even when he is not here, that his spirit, his heart, his desire to really reach out to each and every person is also here. So when we sing today again, sing with your whole heart. Inspire God, inspire Hyung Jin Nim, inspire True Parents. And when we pray, pray to inspire God, because we really want to invoke God to come and visit us. Are you excited to hear what God wants to say to you today? (Yes!) Well, good! Anyway, let’s sing like that and participate like that, and welcome each other like that. That’s really important.

We usually read the Cheon Seong Gyeong, but I thought I will read today from the Divine Principle, from my favorite page which is page 187, The History of the Providence of Restoration and I. So I’m going to read one paragraph and then jump ahead because it’s too long.

“As an individual, each one of us is a product of the history of the providence of restoration. Hence, the person who is to accomplish the purpose of history is none other than I, myself. I must take up the cross of history and accept responsibility to fulfill its calling. To this end, I must fulfill in my lifetime (horizontally), through my efforts, the indemnity conditions which have accumulated through the long course of the providence of restoration (vertically). Only by doing this can I stand proudly as the fruit of history, the one whom God has eagerly sought throughout His providence.”

I’ll jump down to another paragraph.

“Yet there is no one among fallen humanity who can become such an historical victor by his efforts alone. For this reason, we must understand all these things through Christ at the Second Advent, who comes to fulfill the providence of restoration. Moreover, when we believe in him, become one with him, and attend him in his work, we can stand in the position of having fulfilled horizontally with him the vertical indemnity conditions in the history of the providence of restoration.”

Sometimes I have questions, and I’m always wondering how can I be a better person, how can I do more, how can I understand something deeper. About two weeks ago, I heard a wonderful lecture by Kevin Thompson in the Bay Area Church in California. From his sermon I realized, “Oh, duh! I should be making more conditions. I could make more conditions.” I have a best friend who wakes up at 4:30 AM, and is on the phone all day. If you have a life like that, maybe you can’t make really long conditions. But we can make 15-minute conditions, we can make 21-minute conditions, we can make 40-minute conditions. It’s just if we are consistent and sincere, God will really give us the power. Spirit world really wants to work through us. I’m just one person, but this video, this wonderful broadcast, actually goes out to about 10,000 people. If only half of us made conditions, even short conditions, think how powerful that is! So, we can really support our True Parents, we can really support our family, our church, our world. Just by being consistent, just by sometime every day doing study conditions, or prayer conditions, then spirit world really wants to support us. Then we will find great opportunities to help each other, and to support True Parents, and to support our church in a really tangible way.

So, thank you so much, and I’ll end it there. Thank you.

Prayer (Before Sermon):

Heavenly Father, more than we want to be with You, we know that You want to be here today. Heavenly Father, please come and be with us today. Answer our questions, comfort our hearts. More importantly, Heavenly Father, we want to comfort your heart and express our joy and our happiness and our gratitude to be here today. Thank you so much. We pray these things together with brothers and sisters from around the world as Blessed Central Families, Aju!

Interesting Story by Rev. Michael Brazil:

Well, God looks over the millions of people and says, “Welcome to Heaven. I want the women to go with St. Peter, and the men to form two lines. Make one line of the men that dominated their women on earth and the other of the men who were dominated by their women.”

There was much movement, and eventually the women are gone and there are two lines. The line of men that were dominated is hundreds of miles long. The line of men that dominated women has only one man.

God gets angry and says, “You men should be ashamed of yourselves. I created you in my image, and you were all dominated by your mates. Look, only one of my sons has stood up and made me proud. Learn from him.”

God turns to that man and says, “Tell me my son, how did you manage to be the only one in that line?” The man says, “I don’t know. My wife told me to stand here.”

Main Sermon by Kook Jin Nim:

Thank you for the wonderful welcome. It’s good to see all of you today. Can you see me over this podium? I need a few more inches . . . You must have tall ministers. You must feed them well!

I’m sorry to be the party pooper (sorry to be spoiling the party), but I have a serious job to do. I have to report to you on how our church is doing today.

On the positive side, we have accomplished quite a lot. I remember when I first got here in 2005, the Tongil businesses had a lot of problems. But we worked at it and overcame. Now they run like normal businesses – pretty well. Do you remember a couple of years ago, the Korean media was not too friendly towards us, and we were kind of unpopular in Korea? It’s hard to believe that that was only a couple of years ago. During the last two years, our public image has improved quite a bit, with the ministry and management of our world chairman. We’ve received good media coverage from major magazines, over 200 articles. We also have been restructuring and reorganizing the church throughout Korea. Many ministers retired, which was hard to do. But the results are coming in and they are good. The average Sunday service attendance has increased from 12,000 two years ago to about 18,000 a week now. Donations and tithing in the last two years in Korea has doubled, and the Korean headquarters is now financially independent for the first time since it was founded. Did you know that last month we surpassed $200,000 in donations? You should give yourself a round of applause! So we CAN run a church, if we work at it.

Recently our True Parents asked me to go to Japan, where we are facing serious problems. I don’t know how well you understand our church worldwide, but Japan is the mother nation of our church. It’s the nation which provides all the funding for the worldwide movement’s institutions and activities, and also does the bulk of witnessing. I would venture to say that the majority of church members are Japanese. It’s a nation of deep commitment and faith. Yet for those of us who live in Korea or America, sometimes we find it hard to understand that commitment. Because the level of faith and commitment is so high, many of us could not appreciate it. In some cases we thought, “Oh, those people are so extreme.” Looking from our perspective in America and Korea, where we don’t carry such a heavy burden of responsibility, it was easy for us to say that. But having a chance to see the crisis in Japan firsthand in the last six months, I realize how difficult their situation is. Now, almost on a weekly basis, Japanese church members are being investigated and persecuted. We had many police officers visit members in their homes and they were arrested. So when I went to Japan and started to look at the challenges, I just had to shake my head. Boy, these were pretty tough challenges! I really wondered if we could overcome them, and I wondered, hmmm, maybe we did something wrong, also.

So for the past six months I have been working on this problem, and it has gone from being ‘on death’s door’ to now being ‘critical.’ We were close to being totally shut down by the government, but now I feel optimistic that we can overcome the legal challenges in Japan. But at the same time, we have to understand why we’ve had such challenges in the first place. Many who criticize us (inside and outside the church) say that if the government stepped in, we must have done something wrong. And to a certain extent, we are responsible. It is our fault. But when I looked at the situation a little deeper, I said “No, that is only a pretense.” Sure, you can say we’ve made mistakes, but show me a church in this world that hasn’t make mistakes. If I understand the logic correctly, the Catholic Church should not be allowed to exist. If you study history about the Inquisition, the wars to wipe out the Protestants, the Catholic armies committed genocide. They killed Galileo and imprisoned intellectuals. You had the Catholic Church selling indulgences in order to build cathedrals. So if you point out the mistakes of the Catholic Church, one must conclude that they no longer have the right to exist. Correct?

If we do the same looking at fundamentalist Muslims, who blew up the World Trade Towers, they strap bombs on themselves and kill American soldiers in Iraq. So I guess, as a religion, they should not be allowed to exist anymore. If you compare our church to these religious, what has our church done wrong? NOTHING. The problem with religions and organizations is that they are comprised of human beings, who are innately fallible. But the principles which those organizations teach and the values they convey are positive as a whole, and that is why society appreciates them and supports them, even though they make mistakes. Our American government makes mistakes. Our church can be better, and we’ve made mistakes, but that doesn’t mean our religion is wrong. Actually our religion is quite good. The theological content and the insight we hold about the nature of God and humanity is profound. It explains the questions that Christianity leaves unanswered. Our teaching is powerful and has great value. Our brothers and sisters in Japan are highly educated about this fact and have studied the principle very deeply. They practice a very serious spiritual life of intense commitment. In some cases, maybe, they have committed themselves more than they should have, and that’s where we ran into problems. The reason why I point this out is because a lot of the legal accusation in Japan is because of a violation in commercial law.

This commercial law states that when a person is fundraising, he/she should not mention words such as God or spiritual world. That’s the accusation, and yes, we are guilty of that. But did you know that since 1966 our Japanese members have been systematically kidnapped by deprogrammers? For 43 years our members have been kidnapped, beaten, tortured and in some cases raped. And their faith was yanked (forced) away from them. They were forced not to believe in what they sincerely wanted to believe. Were you aware of this fact? This is the reality of our church in Japan, and the government has turned a blind eye towards this criminal kidnapping enterprise. You have the communist attorneys and the Christian ministers who basically trick parents to kidnap their children, and they get paid for it! The ministers get paid to harangue these student members for years, until their faith and souls are broken. Since 1966 there have been over 4,000 cases of kidnapping in Japan. Over 4,000! Yet the government has not made one criminal prosecution – not one! Not one individual has been prosecuted for the criminal kidnapping of over 4,000 people of faith. Can you believe this? Is this reasonable? This is Japan, the second wealthiest nation on earth, where religious freedom is guaranteed in the constitution.

You know, we have one brother whose name is Mr. Goto. This brother was kidnapped and confined for 12 years and five months, locked up in a little apartment and nearly starved to death. When he was finally able to free himself from that dungeon, this is how he looked. He is actually a tall man, yet when he walked out of that prison he looked like a Holocaust victim. Can you imagine being in prison for 12 years and five months? Having Christian ministers coming in and telling you that what you believe is not true, that you’re a heretic and going to hell and God knows what else? Being beaten by people who you thought cared for you? Is this just? Can societies who claim to believe in human rights or proponents of democracy and liberty endorse this? This is absolutely outrageous and unbelievable that this happened – today – in Japan, the second wealthiest country in the world, where democracy has been instituted for over 50 years! My brothers and sisters, you can see from these pictures that religious freedom does not exist in Japan, not if you choose to believe in a religion that is unpopular. If societies and governments fail to protect those that are in the minority, then does freedom really exist? Does choice exist? What happened to our values and righteousness, our sense of what is right and wrong?

These are some of the questions I came to ask myself as I uncovered these issues. I see the sincere devotion of our dear brothers and sisters who are literally martyring themselves for their faith, just as early Christians martyred themselves in the Colosseum as they were consumed by lions and wild animals. In one sense, when we see these individuals we really have to re-examine ourselves and ask, “What does it mean to have faith? What do my religion and beliefs mean to me?” Because there are these individuals who have gone through hell and because they refused to give up their faith our church could survive. This is not only one person, but 4,000 people who were violated. There is even one case of a sister who was kidnapped, imprisoned and raped continuously for three months. The police did nothing. No prosecutions were made. Then when her father found out about the details of the kidnapping that he had authorized, he committed suicide. These deprogrammers who are running this business are exploiting fathers and mothers into doing atrocious crimes against their own children. And yet the government does nothing, claiming that it is just a family matter, in which the government should not be involved.

Brothers and sisters, I do not believe their positions are just (I do not believe that this is just). I think it is utterly morally and ethically outrageous! This cannot be, not in today’s modern society. We cannot let this be. And if we do not stand up as a community, if we do not recognize the value of our brothers and sisters, wherever they are, whether they are here, in Korea, or Japan, then WHO, may I ask, will stand up for them? Who, may I ask, will stand up for you? We have all, in many ways, chosen to belong to this community, and when we belong to a community, we no longer exist as individuals alone. We exist together in partnership with those who share our beliefs and commune with us. These men and women are people who have families and have shared with us. We have a responsibility to each and every one of them, so that they may have justice in their lives. This is what I believe. This is why I believe it is necessary for all of us Unification Church members to become aware of this very critical and challenging issue of persecution that we are facing – to become aware, understand, and to share it.

The people of the world must know, because only when this great evil is brought out into the public eye, will people understand that the Unification Church is a victim of religious persecution, that the Unification Church is a church which has sought only to do good, but yet has been unprotected. My brothers and sisters, it is time for us to take passion and pride in our faith and remember the sacrifices that have been made so that we can hold onto our convictions and beliefs. It is time for us to gather our hearts and minds to pray for our brothers and sisters, and to build our strength and our awareness, so that we can become individuals and communities which can solve this horrible problem.

Thank you very much.

Closing Prayer by Rev. Michael Brazil:

Our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, we know that You love us so deeply. And we know when one child is suffering, the parent always suffers even more. So how much You have suffered as You looked down and saw Your sons and daughters, who had and have great faith in You and love You so deeply, to be so misunderstood and so mistreated, and yet these sons and daughters only offer back to You heartfelt gratitude and love. Our Heavenly Father, it’s true that we really need to know, we need to be aware, we need to be a community of faith, and love, and heart and truth, but we also need a community of strength, of conviction, of determination, for we know that to accomplish Your great goal, it will require that of us. We pray that our hearts and minds truly can reflect that, that we can strengthen our conviction and determination, that we can be proud of who we are, and what we stand for having an amazing truth, truly given to us, which was earned through incredible sweat, blood and tears, tremendous blood and tears. And it has been given to us so freely from our True Parents. Help us to truly appreciate what it is we have and to be filled with the passion and conviction that we might be empowered to become true sons and daughters, so that we can stand up and let society know Your truth, that we will no longer be pushed aside. We will always act with love, we will always act with truth, we will always act with humility, but we will no longer be shoved aside and ridiculed. We will stand up for our faith, and we will become Your true ambassadors.

Our Heavenly Father, thank You for your sharing today with us. Help us to take away from this service an understanding that will help us in the future. We pray especially that You be with our precious brothers and sisters in Japan who truly are the backbone of this movement, and to whom we owe so much. How much they have suffered for You and for True Parents and for us! How much they have been through and how truly we owe them our deepest gratitude and heart. Please Father, bless them. Please shower upon them your amazing grace. And let their suffering become great victories for You, and great opportunities for You. Shower upon them Your love and Your truth and Your blessings. So again today we thank You. We know that life is challenging at times. We want to be strong in our faith and strong in our conviction, and we again thank You so deeply for Your love and grace and all that we have. And we most humbly offer this to You, as your sons and daughters, as brothers and sisters from around the world, united in one heart and mind, as Your sons and daughters we pray. Aju!

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