Japan wants to dissolve the Unification Church. Ex-members fear the religious movement will resort to drastic measures.

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The Japanese government voted to dissolve the country’s branch of the Unification Church in October, signaling a major setback for the controversial religious movement that has faced accusations of being a cult.

The decision comes following the assassination of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s former prime minister. On July 8, 2022, Abe was shot dead by a man who later told authorities he was motivated by hatred toward the Unification Church. The suspect told police his mother went bankrupt after donating money to the church and blamed Abe for promoting the group.

The church has vowed to protect their Japanese branch. In September, TV Asahi News reported that the church’s current leader Hak Ja Han Moon called for more than 6,000 Japanese members to become “the special attack unit that will save Japan.” A leaked meeting also showed the church escalate its calls for member donations.

Ex-members told Insider they fear how the church will respond to the dissolution attempt. “It’s checkmate now,” ex-member Teddy Hose said. “This is when cults do really extreme things.”

Content retrieved from: https://www.insider.com/unification-church-japan-dissolution-shinzo-abe-assassination-2023-10.

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