2nd-generation Jehovah’s Witness shows empathy with accused Abe assassin

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OSAKA — “He must have thought, ‘if it weren’t for their religion,’ because I was the same,” said a 45-year-old man who was raised by religious parents as a “second-generation follower” about Tetsuya Yamagami, who has been indicted for the murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Comparing Yamagami’s life with his own, the man told the Mainichi Shimbun, “My life has been tossed around by religion.”

The 45-year-old man was born to a Japanese seal maker and stay-at-home mother in Kyoto Prefecture. Troubled by raising a child, the mother sought comfort in religion. When he was 6, his family joined the Christian denomination Jehovah’s Witnesses. His father was a skilled craftsman, and he made good money, but chose to close his business saying that seals could be associated with fortune-bringing and other religious practices. He then started moving from job to job, and the family relocated from a three-bedroom condo to a small, old apartment.

His parents were strict, which came from their faith. If the man dozed off during a gathering, his parents would whip his bottom with an electric cord.

As an adult he once asked his mother, “Do you know how much I suffered?” She apologized, saying, “I didn’t know you were having a hard time. I’m sorry,” but would not admit that her faith was wrong.

Content retrieved from: https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20230114/p2a/00m/0na/011000c.

1 comment

  1. There is a consistent narrative of turmoil, abuse and grief about the damage done by authoritarian religious organizations, despite their doctrinal differences former members from different groups often share the same sad stories.

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