Memorial service held for Korean woman killed during religious conversion

Ji In Gu was kidnapped by her parents last year and suffocated to death after trying to escape the forced conversion therapy.

The memorial service of Ji In Gu. Picture: Tessa Knight.

CAPE TOWN - Members of the Human Rights Association for the Victims of Coercive Conversion Programmes this morning held a memorial service for Ji In Gu, a South Korean woman who died during a religious conversion programme.

Gu was kidnapped by her parents last year and suffocated to death after trying to escape the forced conversion therapy.

Anele Zondi, a member of the HWPL group for world peace, explains the process Gu experienced.

“The group of pastors from the Christian Council of Korea who started the programme, where they would convert people to their particular denomination, she was forcefully converted to their programme.”

Coercive conversion is not punishable by law in Korea.

The Human Rights Association believes 147 people have fallen victim to the religious conversion process in recent years.

City of Cape Town Councillor Barbara Rass was at the event.

“We see this almost every day and we can’t just be silent. People must know that the world is watching.”

Memorial services were also held in Namibia and Zimbabwe.