Assassin may have killed Abe as revenge against religious group that bankrupted his mother

·1 min read
Shinzo Abe
Shinzo Abe Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon - Pool/Getty Images

Tetsuya Yamagami, the man accused of assassinating former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was reportedly motivated by his hatred of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, also known as the Unification Church.

Members of the Unification Church are sometimes referred to by a pejorative colloquialism derived from the name of the group's founder — the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who considered himself to be the second coming of Christ.

Yamagami allegedly resented the Unification Church because his mother, who is a member, had become bankrupt after making donations to the group, The Washington Post reported. Japanese police have said that Yamagami told them he was motivated by animosity toward the religious group he blamed for his mother's financial ruin, while a Tokyo-based representative confirmed on Sunday that Yamagami's mother was a member of the church.

Abe did not belong to the Unification Church, but he did give paid speeches at church-related events, and Unificationists formed a reliable voting bloc for Abe's Liberal Democratic Party.

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