Petition calling for ex-Unification Church's disbandment handed to govt.

NHK, Japan/November 9, 2022

Former followers of the religious group previously known as the Unification Church and their supporters have petitioned the government ask a court to issue an order to remove the group's legal status as a religious corporation.

The campaigners on Friday handed a letter of request to an official of the Cultural Affairs Agency, which oversees religious organizations.

Attached to the letter is an online petition with more than 204,000 signatures that had been collected in less than two months.

The religious group has been criticized for its dubious marketing practice known as spiritual sales as well as soliciting large donations.

The letter argues that the damage inflicted by the group is grave and continuing.

It also says the country has failed to address the problem, and the situation should be corrected quickly.

Ogawa Sayuri, a former follower, told reporters that she is grateful that many people are supporting their cause, considering that they have been unable to speak up for a long time.

Ogawa, whose parents were also followers, said she believes that the government will take decisive action this time so no one will have to suffer like she did.

The campaigners plan to continue the online petition and will consider sending their request to Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.

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