Japan Draws Up Guidelines on Child Abuse Linked to Religion


Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Using threats to force children to engage in religious activity, or preventing them from marriage or study on the basis of religious doctrine, amounts to child abuse, according to new guidelines drawn up by Japan's welfare ministry.

The guidelines on points to keep in mind when receiving consultations about suspected abuse of children by parents who are members of religious groups are set to be distributed to child consultation centers nationwide, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.

Written in a question-and-answer format, the guidelines were created on the basis of hearings with children of religious group members.

The guidelines say that using phrases such as "you will go to hell" and other threats to force children to participate in religious activity amounts to abuse.

They also say that not offering adequate food to children due to the lack of living expenses caused by massive religious donations can be abuse, as can preventing children from interacting with friends who do not believe in the same religion.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press