A large-scale memorial ceremony was hosted by the Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs (HAC) on January 7, 2019 engaging different schools in Cavite, marking the first death anniversary of the young Korean lady named Gu Ji In, a victim of forceful conversion.
Thousands of students from Imus National High School and Paliparan III Senior High School gathered to commemorate the first death anniversary of Ms. Gu, killed because of coercive conversion program that forcefully convert one’s religion. Flowers were offered as a symbol of lending support and sharing the burden of grief. A condolence message was given by Mr. Proceso Paiton, a teacher from Paliparan III Senior High School.
The first death anniversary of Ms. Gu was commemorated not only in the Philippines, but also in different countries including Washington D.C. and New York in USA; Uganda in Africa; Essen and Berlin in Germany; Bali and Jakarta in Indonesia and realized the importance of human rights for the freedom of religion. “Since the killing of Gu Ji-in, we have held campaigns all over South Korea and around the world to obtain signatures to propose a law against coercive conversion. Over one million citizens participated in the campaigns and agreed on the magnitude of this issue. Now it is the government’s turn to accept and acknowledge this severe problem.” Said Ms. Abigail Saguid, a coordinator from HAC.
HAC has been actively advocating for the freedom of religion through campaigns and rallies seeking justice for those who have been a victim of the forceful conversion. The commemoration is done not only in South Korea but in different parts of the world, calling for the government to make a move to stop this unlawful act of killing and religious suppression.