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Forced De-Conversion Victim Statements

 

Y. N. (name withheld by request)

Confined:   December 1988-January 1989

March 1994-May 1994

November 1997-December 1998

Faith-breakers: Kensuke Izumi, Katsuhiko Nakamura, Mamoru Takazawa

WRITTEN STATEMENT

[no date given]

Profile

I was born in Kurume City, Fukuoka prefecture. My father is Hirohito, my mother is Sumi, and I have two sisters. I was witnessed to in May 1986 and became a member of the Unification Church.

House arrest

My mother’s younger sister was a high school nurse and a leftist activist. She suggested to my mother in 1988 that she should convince me to leave the church at any cost. From December 1988, I was under house arrest for two months. All my church-related belongings were taken away. I was under surveillance all the time but got a break and escaped from the house.

First confinement

In March 1994, my family asked me to join them for a trip. With my parents, two sisters, my mother’s sister and my grandmother, we went to the Tamana hot spring of Kumamoto prefecture. We stayed one night and the next day  went to the zoo at Ohmuta. For the return trip, they asked me to sit in the middle. After I sat down, they locked the doors and told me that they had prepared a place to discuss things and they wanted me to go there. I said I didn’t want to, but they ignored me and took me to an apartment in Ohmuta.

 

The apartment building had a parking lot on the ground floor and probably 10 apartments. They took me to a room on the second floor. The entrance door had a lock that required a key to open it, even from the inside. I told them I had left some unfinished business and I needed to make a phone call. They decided to take me to a payphone booth across the street with guards. I told a church member where I was in a coded message. It seems that later my parents were scolded badly by a minister for allowing this call.

A few days after the kidnapping, my leader and my fiancé found the confinement site and came to visit me. At the entrance they had an argument with my parents. I heard voices saying things like, “Stop this illegal confinement!” “This is a conversation between parents and a child!” I was listening to all of this from nearby, but I wasn’t able to make even one move. My leader and fiancé could do nothing more and eventually left.

The next day, a neighbor visited us to share a small gift she had received. Actually, this person was a church member, so my leader and fiancé had asked her to do them a favor. While she was talking with my parents, my fiancé jumped in. It became a physical struggle between the four of us, him, my parents and me. My father screamed, “Separate them.” My mother shouted several times, “Please call the police.” The neighbor got scared and called the police. When the officers came, my parents and fiancé went outside and I was taken back inside.I had hoped to be released from confinement, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I was accused every single day. Sometimes I raised my voice. I damaged my throat because of that. I tasted blood in my mouth.

One night, I was suddenly taken to another apartment in Kurume city. A few days after the move, Kensuke Izumi, a minister of United Church of Christ in Japan, came from Ohmuta. He just accused the church for a while and left.

One night while my parents were sleeping deeply, I escaped successfully. That first confinement had lasted about 50 days.

Second confinement

 

In November 1997, my fiancé and I visited my parents’ home in Kurume to inform them that we were going to start our family life, but instead I was kidnapped again. We had dinner together with family members. After we finished eating, suddenly the door opened and some of my male relatives came in with their shoes on and kidnapped me. Of course I grabbed my fiancé and tried to resist, but I was pulled apart from him. My fiancé was grabbed from behind and restrained. I was carried out, pushed into a car and taken to a different apartment in Ohmuta.

There were two doors at the entrance. Nobody could open either door without a key, and my father carried the key around his neck. All the windows were double locked and covered. Every single day they made me  listen to the minister, over my objections. The same minister, Kensuke Aoki[vp1] , from the previous time and another minister, Katsuhiko Nakamura of Karatsu Bible Church of Assemblies of God, took turns coming and talking to me. What they did was nothing but try to persuade me to leave the church. It was very difficult. One night I cried so hard, as if I was going crazy.

Though a few months had passed, I didn’t agree to leave the church. Then they brought in Minister Mamoru Takazawa of Kobe Shin Churchto evaluate whether they should move me to Kobe. He came into my room and suddenly hit a table and rudely called my name. He said, “Do you know me?” I said no. He said, “You don’t know anything.” After that day, he came often. My parents began to trust him. He told them, “Don't worry, she is going to quit soon.” My parents loosened the confinement a little bit. Takazawa threatened me by saying, “If you escape this time, I will chase after you wherever you go.”

“Rehabilitation”

Eventually I was moved to my parents’ home for what they called rehabilitation, and then I was moved to an apartment near the church of Minister Nakamura in Karatsu city. There were  many members there who, like me, had just been released from confinement. All day I had to stay in the apartment with them.

 

Police officers came there to ask us how we had lived while we were in the Unification Church. We were also taken to attend a meeting of a parents’ group that fights against the church. That was in Nagasaki City. I was also taken once to a lawyer’s office and took part in a meeting  of former members.

I had been kidnapped in November 1997. In December 1998, my fiancé found me. He came when I was alone, and I escaped with him.

Although the victim's name has been withheld, qualified researchers may confirm his/her identity by contacting us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 


[vp1]Last name Izumi above. Which is correct?