(November 13, site news)The international conference on “Religious Persecution and the Human Rights of Refugees” was held in Seoul, South Korea on October 23, 2017, according to a report from the Religious Freedom and Human Rights website dated November 13. The discussion at the conference revolved around the human rights of North Korean defectors and Christians of the Church of Almighty God. Several South Korean media outlets reported on the conference, while organizations such as the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) and the European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB) reproduced the contents of the conference on their official websites. On International Religious Freedom Day on October 27, CESNUR made a public statement of appeal for the Church of Almighty God, which is being severely persecuted by the CCP. The statement has been relayed and supported in succession by international organizations such as Human Rights Without Frontiers.
With more and more international human rights organizations and Western scholars beginning to pay attention to and understand the Church of Almighty God, the CCP is growing more panicked and has recently begun a new round of persecution against the Church. The CCP has organized and tricked several family members of Christians from the Church of Almighty God to travel to South Korea. Led by a Ms. Wu, the representative of a South Korean religious website, the group has launched a series of protests to defame, condemn and smear the Church of Almighty God in the name of “searching for loved ones.” At around 10 am on November 8, a group of people that included Ms. Wu held a press conference outside Jeju District Court. Several people held up a banner saying, “My family member is not a refugee,” requesting that the Court reject the appeal applications of Christians of the Church of Almighty God seeking asylum. There were also seven or eight burly and mysterious middle-aged men patrolling back and forth at the scene. On November 9, they held another press conference at the Press Center building in Seoul, continuing to flaunt the banner of “searching for loved ones” while still targeting the asylum applications of Christians of the Church of Almighty God. On November 10, a man wearing a mask and holding a banner protested against the asylum applications of Christians of the Church of Almighty God outside the Seoul Immigration Office. On both November 11 and 12, Ms. Wu led a team to demonstrate outside the entrance and prayer house of the Church of Almighty God in South Korea. On November 13, Ms. Wu and others held a press conference in Hoengseong. … The focus of all these activities was to oppose the applications of Christians of the Church of Almighty God seeking asylum in South Korea.
In another development, between 1:15 pm and 3:20 pm on the afternoon of November 14, the family members “searching for their loved ones” met with their relatives at the Church of Almighty God after evading Ms. Wu with the assistance of foreign affairs police. One family member stated that he originally thought that he was just going to the Church to see his relative, but he was instead taken by Ms. Wu to Jeju and then to Hoengseong to participate in various activities such as press conferences and demonstrations. He gradually realized something was not right: The CCP has always brutally persecuted the Church of Almighty God; causing trouble like this would undoubtedly bring greater danger to his wife. He had expressed to Ms. Wu several times that he came to find his relative and not to cause trouble, but it was of no use at all. He expressed strong regret for his actions.
Some human rights activists in South Korea believe that such actions by the CCP interfered with the enforcement of South Korean Refugee Act and expressed their strong condemnation.