The Words of the Zaduski Family
The first negative prime-time television program about the Unification Church was shown on the nationwide Globo Television series "Fantastico." The program was conducted in such a way as to incriminate the Unification Church. Church members began to receive threatening telephone calls immediately afterwards from people vowing to destroy the Unification Church centers.
The second in this same hostile Globo Television series was aired, with dramatic stories which added to the negative impact on the Brazilian people.
Violence began against Unification Church centers throughout Brazil.
At the church in Belem do Para, young students began stoning the church building. All the windows were broken and church members were trapped inside for several hours. Finally the police arrived, but none of the attackers were arrested, and as soon as the police left, the stoning began again. The church leader, Epitacio Eduardo Lima, was arrested.
Violence against church buildings also took place in Joao Pessao, Recife and Sao Luis. In the latter town, the chief of police closed down the Unification Church center and forbade members to return. In Macapa, the church leader, Carlos Irlan Rocha, was arrested and detained for 21 days, accused of vagrancy. Many negative articles began to appear in newspapers and negative reports were broadcast over the radio.
A third and especially negative program was shown on the series "Fantastico." Immediately afterwards, the violence began to escalate. Many negative articles appeared that day, including one full page story.
At 2:00 a.m. a man arrived at the main church center in Sao Paulo, showing a badge and claiming to be with the Political Police. About ten other people arrived with him, but they claimed they had all come separately. He began harassing the church members and incited the others to do the same. When one member, Waldir Cipriani, took a photograph of him, the harasser threatened to break down the church if the photograph was not handed over. Those who accompanied him pulled out hammers, stones and large pieces of wood, and the leading harasser pulled out a gun and pointed it straight at Cipriani, demanding the photograph. He threatened to return sometime and kill Cipriani. During this entire incident, church members inside of the building kept calling the police, who never responded.
Later that night, the same man returned in a police car, accompanied by the police. The police arrested the church members and brought them to the station. They also entered the center and searched everything.
Church centers were stoned in 'Teresina and Boa Vista. In 'Teresina the church leader, Carlindo Pereira Goncalves, was arrested and in Boa Vista the center was burned.
Many more negative articles appeared.
Attackers returned to the center in Boa Vista, which had been burned the day before, and completely destroyed the remnants of the walls, breaking everything down to the ground.
Church centers in Brasilia, Florianopolis, Vitoria and Cuiaba were also attacked with stones and everything inside the latter two was completely destroyed.
In Vitoria, the attackers piled many valuable things outside the house and set fire to everything. During the ransacking, four church members ran upstairs to hide. Police cars arrived and the police remained outside the house watching the attack, stopping no one and arresting no one.
Many negative articles continued to appear all around the country.
In Brasilia, the church center was heavily stoned throughout the day and eventually set on fire, forcing the members to move elsewhere. Molotov cocktails were hurled at the church center in Curitiba. The church in Sorocaba was also stoned, and throughout the day, church members at the center received telephone calls threatening to burn the building down and bomb it.
Many negative articles kept appearing.
In Sao Paulo, a large group of students gathered outside the main church center and began stoning the building, breaking all the windows. The members called the Special Police, the City Police, the Military Police and the Fire Department, but no one came. When I went outside to investigate the situation, stones, oranges and eggs were thrown at me. When I was hit, the crowd cheered.
Finally the police arrived, followed closely by reporters from various news media.
Ignoring the attackers, the police arrested all Unification Church members present ostensibly to give them protection. When the church members were allowed to return home, they found the house and four cars destroyed. Even while members were inside the police station, a mob gathered and began shouting, but none of the harassers were arrested or stopped. The news media came and interviewed the members who were being detained.
The same day, attackers entered and set fire to two other buildings in Sao Paulo used by church members: one held the legal and accounting offices and a dental clinic staffed by church members; the other housed the Il Hwa Import/Export Co.
Plain clothes policemen arrested all church members at the church's education center in Sao Paulo and brought them to the police station for questioning. Members asked to see the identification of the plain clothes men, and the news media announced that the church members had resisted the police.
That night, members began a prayer and fast vigil in the Plaza Marechal Deodoro, the plaza in front of the Globo TV station.
Negative reports continued in the newspapers and on the radio.
The attackers returned to the Il Hwa building, broke down the gates and entered the house, pillaging everything. All the equipment was totally destroyed and the records burned. Five members ran upstairs to hide during the attack and were then trapped when fire was set downstairs. Fortunately, firemen came to their rescue.
A half hour later, the legal and accounting office building was attacked; everything was destroyed, including the dental equipment, the telex, Xerox, and other office equipment. A television set, some money, and everything else of value was stolen and all office records burned and destroyed. The police came and watched the entire event, but did not stop or arrest any of the attackers. One church member ran to the back room when the stoning began. When the room was set on fire, someone was able to rescue her, but the car in which she was escaping was smashed several blocks away. The police arrested all church members, but none of the attackers.
The church center in Taubate was also stoned and totally destroyed that day, and when the members moved to another center, it was also immediately stoned.
The police came to the Plaza Marechal Deodoro, site of the prayer vigil, and made the members leave. Members went to the Cathedral Plaza da Se to continue praying. In front of the cathedral, mobs began to instigate violence, and one church member who took pictures of the attacking crowd was beaten and had his pictures taken away.
Many negative articles appeared, perhaps the most hostile so far.
One attorney who is a friend of the Unification Church went to see the Minister of Justice in Brasilia and wrote him a letter protesting the violence against the Unification Church. The matter was deferred to his first Secretary, and when the attorney returned the following day, reporters were waiting in the building for her.
The church centers in Manaus and Presidente Prudente were stoned and completely destroyed. In Botucatu, attackers stoned the house of a church member who was giving lectures on the Divine Principle in his home.
On August 23, the fourth -- and so far the last -- program about the Unification Church appeared on Globo TV.
In Campinas, the church building was stoned and shot at; church members in Cascavel were arrested; a house that the church was considering renting in Rio de Janeiro was destroyed in a violent attack.
People are now afraid to rent to members of the church. The owners of all the destroyed houses rented by the church are demanding that church members pay all the costs of restoring the houses and contents.
Church members have been fired from their jobs because fellow employees were afraid that their place of employment might be attacked if a member of the Unification Church were working there.
During all this time, hundreds of church members and their families have sent letters to Globo TV requesting equal time, but as of this date (September 3), they have never responded to these requests.