Tokyo -- A group of 50 former Unification Church followers on Wednesday asked for talks with the controversial religious group to have it pay back some 1,610 million yen to them, including some 140 million yen in damages.
A second group of former followers of the religious group officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification will make a similar request, lawyers said.
According to the lawyers, Unification Church followers approached people on the street without revealing that they belonged to the religious group and recruited new followers by fueling their anxieties, by using palm readings for example.
The 50 former followers had losses ranging from some 2 million yen to some 220 million yen by making donations or buying products linked to the religious group, the lawyers said.
A woman in her 80s from the Kansai western Japan region donated some 140 million yen between 2009 and last year as she was told that donations would improve her husband's health, according to the lawyers.
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