Unification Church slams Japan’s dissolution request as a threat to religious freedom

The Japanese branch of the Unification Church on Monday criticised the Japanese government’s request for a court order to dissolve the group, saying it’s based on groundless accusations and is a serious threat to religious freedom and human rights of its followers.

Japan’s Education Ministry on Friday asked the Tokyo District Court to revoke the legal status of the Unification Church after a ministry investigation concluded the group has systematically manipulated its followers into donating money, sowing fear and harming their families.

The investigation followed months of public outrage and questions about the group’s fundraising and recruitment tactics after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assassination last year. The man accused of shooting Abe allegedly was motivated by the former prime minister’s links to the church and blamed it for bankrupting his family.

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