Namibia remembers Gu

All over the world there are people at risk of persecution for their faith.

10 January 2019 | Local News

This past Saturday, the Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programmes hosted a special memorial service in Windhoek to commemorate the murder of 27-year-old Ji-in Gu.

Gu, a coercive conversion victim, was kidnapped and killed in South Korea on 29 December 2017.

The organisers of the Windhoek event hosted this special service with the aim of creating awareness and educating the public about the devastating effects that human rights abuses have on families and individuals.

Gu was killed while being held captive at a secluded recreational lodge in Hwasun, South Korea.

She was bound and gagged by her parents, an act which led to her suffocating to death.

Her parents were held responsible for her death but the real culprits behind the murder were allegedly the pastors from the Christian Council of Korea (CCK).

The CCK pastors allegedly use brutal methods to indoctrinate victims - mostly young women - through abduction and confinement. The pastors receive money from parents in exchange for their conversion strategies, after promising to convert children back to the desired denomination. Gu, who had in July 2016 escaped confinement at a Catholic abbey in the city of Jangseong after being held captive for 40 days, had been living in constant fear of being kidnapped again and could no longer trust her family who had colluded with CCK pastors to kidnap her.

This is just one example of the atrocities of this nature happening all over Korea and in many parts of the world.

Gu's death escalated from a family matter to a national issue, with more than 120 000 people gathering in Seoul and other major cities outside of South Korea, in January and February 2018 to protest against coercive conversion and fight for religious freedom and the protection of the universal human right to choose one's religious beliefs without being persecuted.

In Windhoek, the Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programmes paid tribute to those who lost their lives and whose human rights had been violated by powerful organisations and people who abuse their authority for monetary gain.

All over the world there are people at risk of persecution for their faith. By hosting the Windhoek memorial, the human rights association aimed to create awareness and unite people from all religions, denominations and backgrounds to stand up against these human rights violations.

Memorial services were also held in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

STAFF REPORTER

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