The Words of the Fefferman Family
Since the Earthquake in Japan, we've refrained from launching any new public criticism of the Japanese government. Soon, however, our campaign to press Japan to uphold the rights of Unification Church members will start up again. In the meantime, Unification Church members around the world have contributed significantly to Japan aid efforts, after the earthquake/tsunami. More than 50 members in Japan were officially certified and have been conducting earthquake relief in the Sendai area. In the US, the Unification Church and UPF have raised money to ship tons of material aid to the affected areas. In Maryland our local community organized a successful "Japan Aid Day" to raise money for earthquake victims. The festival and concert was held on May 1 at the New Hope Academy in Landover Hills. It was organized as a fundraiser for the Red Cross and the Women's Federation for World Peace. Coordinated by Kaeleigh [Fefferman] Moffitt, the event was covered by four local newspapers and received an official letter of thanks from the Japanese embassy. More information on this event can be found at www.familyfed.org.
As many of you know, ICRF publicly endorsed the nomination of Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook as the new U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom. This is the State Department's top official on religious freedom, who reports directly to the President and Secretary of State. I'm glad to report that she has finally been confirmed unanimously by the Senate (the nomination was stalled for over a year due to partisan wrangling). Last week Rev. Jenkins and I attended a reception in her honor to which those who had actively supported her were invited. We are looking forward to briefing her formally about our issue soon after she is sworn in and takes office.
I will be heading up two delegations this summer to expose the reality of faith-breaking in Japan. The team consists of myself, Mr. Toru Goto (the 12-year confinement victim), Mr. Luke Higuchi (head of our "survivors' association" in the US), and Mr. Shunsuke Uotani (translator and religious freedom officer at the Japanese headquarters). In late June, our team will travel to Taipei, Taiwan, where we will speak on a panel on "The Unification Church: a new religion coming of age." In the second week of July we will march into what we used to call the "enemy camp" and present a panel on "Deprogramming in Japan: fact or fiction" at the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) in Barcelona, Spain. This organization used to be known as the American Family Association and is attended mostly by anti-cultists, but lately some more open-minded scholars have also been participating. We could use some prayer support for this one!
If you haven't done so already please check out the series of articles we have published on the front page at www.religiousfreedom.com on the persecution of our members on University campuses throughout Japan. Not only do CARP members face discrimination by professors and University officials, some of these campuses even cooperate with anti-Unification Church ministers to frighten parents into kidnapping and "deprogramming" our members. This shocking expose was written by a respected non-Unification Church journalist and published in an independent journal.
Religious Freedom at the Washington Times Our coalition plans to hold an educational meeting at the Washington Times, entitled "Stop Religious Persecution Now." It is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, mid-July and will run all day at the Times' Arbor Ballroom. Various human rights leaders, representatives of persecuted religious minorities, media specialists and diplomats are expected to participate. This effort is led by the UPF of the USA under the leadership of Jim Gavin, and In Jin Nim has agreed to be the keynote speaker.
Pray for Ray Our brother Ray Mas, a key member of the ICRF staff, has suffered a stroke and is currently in rehab. Please pray for his full and rapid recovery. We need him back soon, especially as our campaign on Capitol Hill gears up again. Ray is our main scheduler/coordinator for this effort and hasn't missed one day with In Jin Nim on the Hill so far.
We need your donations! Please consider supporting ICRF on a monthly basis. If everyone would give just $20/month over the next two years we could accomplish so much! Go to www.religiousfreedom.com and click on the Donate button on the lower left side of the home page. Thank you to all who are contributing at this time!
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