Even though it took place at the other end of the world, the assassination of former Japanese minister Shinzo Abe, on the 8th, may have little link with Mato Grosso do Sul. This is because, although it is not official, the suspicion is that the murderer acted to take revenge on the Unification Church, a religious group with millionaire businesses with which Shinzo allegedly had a connection and that had the Pantanal state as the scenario for the construction of part of this empire.
According to Japanese media, Tetsuya Yamagami, Abe’s self-confessed gunman, told police he acted out of spite against a religious organization that had pressured his mother into donating large amounts of money, thus ruining his family. He believed that Abe had favored this religious institution in Japan.
The late former prime minister even participated as a paid speaker at one of the many events organized by this group. Furthermore, last June, Akihiko Kurokawa, leader of the country’s NHK party, called the organization an “anti-Japanese cult” and blamed Abe’s maternal grandfather, former prime minister Nobusuke Kishi, for allowing them to come to Japan. in 1958.
The Korean Sun Myung Moon, known in these parts as Reverend Moon, created the Unification Church in 1954 in South Korea. The religious following has a Christian basis, but assumes that Adam and Eve sinned, dooming the divine plan to failure, with Moon himself being the messiah who would save the earth.
He would have met Christ himself when he was 16 years old and, thus, idealized the philosophy that within a few decades would conquer millions of believers around the world. His mission would be necessary because Jesus would have died before completing his mission: marrying a perfect woman and achieving complete salvation for humanity.
In 1996 he arrived in Mato Grosso do Sul to install his church and ended up building part of his vast patrimony, mainly in the municipality of Jardim. In a short time he acquired large rural properties in the state, including in the Pantanal region, residences and even created a football club, Cene (Clube Esportivo Nova Esperança), initially in Jardim, later migrating to Campo Grande.
But, of course, not everything was successful. At the same speed that he built the castle, he also got into debt, mainly due to fines for environmental infractions and labor demands. So much so that even before he died, the properties in Jardim were sold.
In addition, in 2013, there was information that the Abin (Brazilian Intelligence Agency) was investigating suspicions of money laundering and the reverend buying large tracts of land in Brazil and Paraguay.
With this philosophy, the Church also became known for its collective marriages. In 2002, for example, Moon married around 3,500 couples at the same time in Seoul’s Olympic Stadium. The mass marriage had people from 186 countries, many of whom had just met.
The reverend died in September 2012 at the age of 92, a victim of complications from pneumonia that left him hospitalized for more than a month. At the time he lived in South Korea, the birthplace of his church. Since then, the widow Hak Ja Han Moon has been in charge of the Unification business, while two of her children are in charge of smaller organizations.
In Japan, although police did not reveal the name of the religious organization cited by Abe’s killer, the Federation of Families for World Peace and Unification (the name currently used by the Unification Church) confirmed that his mother was a member and he would even have sold his own house and land, worth more than R$ 3.8 million, to donate the money to the church.