A court in Kyrgyzstan has ruled that the Unification Church can no longer operate on Kyrgyz territory.
According to Radio Free Europe the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security, the Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General’s Office and the State Directorate for Religious Issues filed a complaint with the court earlier this month.
The complaint states that the church — officially known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) — poses a threat to Kyrgyz national security by forcibly propagating nontraditional religious views without proper registration.
It is not clear what promted the ban, but Russian news agency RIA Novosti says regional media reported in mid-January about a Kyrgyz national who was “tortured over his refusal to join the Unification Church.”
The Unification Church became active in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s and has thousands of followers in the region.
During the Seventies and Eighties he Unification Church was controversial primarily for its recruitment tactics, which marked the movement as — sociologically — a religious cult.
Theologically the church — founded by South Korean Sun Myung Moon, who considers himself to be the Messiah — is a cult of Christianity.
Many African-American churches have bought into Moon’s offbeat theology. Moon is also popular with many U.S. politicians.
In 2004, Moon had himself crowned ‘King of America.’