Mari Yamaguchi

Mari Yamaguchi is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Mari Yamaguchi

Japan’s government will ask court to revoke legal status of Unification Church

By Mari Yamaguchi — October 12, 2023
TOKYO (AP) — If its legal status is stripped, the church would lose its tax exemption privilege as a religious organization but can still operate.

In secular Japan, what draws so many to temples and shrines? Stamp collecting and tradition

By Mari Yamaguchi — October 9, 2023
TOKYO (AP) — Japan has a long history of pragmatism about traditional religions, which often serve more as connections to family and community than as theological guides, as in the West.

New Japan law aims at Unification Church fundraising abuses

By Mari Yamaguchi — December 13, 2022
TOKYO (AP) — The new law allows believers, other donors and their families to seek the return of their money and prohibits religious groups and other organizations from soliciting funds by coercion or linking donations to spiritual salvation.

Japan leader sends offerings to controversial Tokyo shrine

By Mari Yamaguchi — October 18, 2022
TOKYO (AP) — The religious offerings were donated to a Tokyo shrine viewed by many as a symbol of Japanese wartime militarism.

Japan PM orders probe of Unification Church problems

By Mari Yamaguchi — October 17, 2022
TOKYO (AP) — Many critics consider the church to be a cult because of problems with followers and their families over their financial and mental hardships.

Half of Japan governing lawmakers tied to Unification Church

By Mari Yamaguchi — September 9, 2022
TOKYO (AP) — An internal survey found that nearly half of Japan's lawmakers have ties to the Unification Church, in a widening controversy that emerged after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japan PM purges Cabinet after support falls over church ties

By Mari Yamaguchi — August 10, 2022
TOKYO (AP) — Seven ministers who acknowledged their ties to the church were removed.

Lawyers say church caused suffering for Abe’s alleged killer

By Mari Yamaguchi — July 29, 2022
TOKYO (AP) - The church has been flooded by harassing phone calls, it says, including death threats.

EXPLAINER: The Unification Church’s ties to Japan’s politics

By Mari Yamaguchi — July 15, 2022
TOKYO (AP) — Many Japanese have been surprised as revelations emerged this week of the ties between the church and Japan's top leaders, which have their roots in shared anti-communism efforts during the Cold War.
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