Intellasia East Asia News – Japanese Government Launches Counseling Service for Unification Church Misfortunes

The government on Monday launched a hotline for people struggling with the Unification Church, a religious group that has sparked controversy since former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was killed over alleged links to the group in July.

Officials from government offices, including the Justice Ministry and law enforcement and consumer agencies, gathered in Tokyo to offer the service. They will mainly set up professional consultation entities, including those offering legal assistance to resolve issues with the group. The service is scheduled until September 30.

The church, now officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, has come under scrutiny after Abe’s attacker allegedly told investigators he harbored a grudge against the group due to his mother’s massive donations and believed Abe had a connection to her.

Complaints have already been lodged with the Consumer Agency about the church claiming to demand huge donations from its congregants that are pushing them to the point of financial ruin.

As unrest related to the Unification Church is expected to be widespread, the government has also appointed officials from the Ministry of Interior and Communications, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, of Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare at the Consultancy Service.

A person requesting the return of donations to the church can ask the consultation counter to present a lawyer. The service can also help a person in financial difficulty due to massive donations from a family member to access public assistance.

It will also introduce consumer affairs centers for those seeking to cancel purchase contracts linked to “spiritual sales”, in which the church has pressured people to buy jars and jars. other items at exorbitant prices using threats, including invoking “ancestral karma”. ”

The consultation window is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Category: Japan

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