The Japanese government launched an investigation into the Unification Church, also known as the Moon Sect, on Tuesday. He is accused of having close ties to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling party.
Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Keiko Nagaoka, said at a news conference on Tuesday that the government will give the church until December 9 to respond to questions about its finances and organization. The court must then determine, based on the outcome of the investigation, whether the Unification Church retains its own legal status. A church may lose, among other things, the tax exemption it still receives as a registered religious organization.
The close ties between the Moon cult and members of the ruling party came to light after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead during an election rally in July. The suspected killer bore a grudge against the former prime minister for his supposed links to the Union Church. It is said that his mother faced financial problems due to donations to the church. The suspect accused Abe of promoting the Moon Sect.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered an investigation into the Moon Sect in mid-October. An internal party investigation in September revealed that 179 of the 379 deputies of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party maintain contact with the Unification Church. 17 of them even received electoral assistance from a religious organization.
The Unification Church is also called the Moon Sect because of the name of its founder: South Korean priest Sun Myung Moon. He founded the movement in 1954 and declared himself a Christian. With his loyal followers, the religious leader built a business empire that made him a billionaire. Born in communist North Korea and passed away in 2012, the anti-communist Moon was known for his big performances, including mass weddings.
The Moon Sect, with its branches and members all over the world, including Japan, supports conservative political causes. Politicians such as former US President Donald Trump and former Japanese Prime Minister Abe will sympathize with the Unification Church.
Since 1965, the movement has also had a branch in the Netherlands. The Moon cult was in the news here in 2019 during the Ruinerwold case, in which Father Gerrit Jan van D. With years of deprivation of liberty for his six children and sexual abuse. The father of the isolated family on the farm was a member of the League church, but the religious community turned away from him because of “crazy ideas,” a spokesperson for the Austrian branch told this site at the time. The family skilled worker, who was sentenced to three years in prison, was also a member of the movement.
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