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South Korea Turns Against 'arrogant' Christian Hostages

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South Korea turns against 'arrogant' Christian hostages

By Daniel Jeffreys in Seoul

Published: 04 August 2007

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article2833902.ece"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article2833902.ece[/url]

 

The kidnap of South Korean church volunteers by the Taliban has caused deep divisions back home, forcing into the open a dark truth: many Koreans resent Christians and the speed with which they have become a dominant force in the upper echelons of society.

 

The captive missionaries - 18 women and five men - who were seized in Afghanistan two weeks ago hailed from the Saemmul Presbyterian Church, which is based in an affluent dormitory town south of Seoul.

 

After they were taken hostage, the church's online bulletin board was deluged with negative statements. Many called the missionaries "arrogant" for trying to proselytise in a Muslim country gripped by conflict.

 

When the group's pastor, Bae Hyung-ku, was killed last week, the hostile messages increased and the church decided to close its site rather than endure what a press release from Bae's family called "more hatred and misunderstanding."

But this did not halt the critics. A news bulletin board at Naver, Korea's leading portal, attracted vicious denunciations. "Yes, let's pray for the hostages' safe return, only to see these missionaries kneel down and apologise to the people for the Protestants' arrogance," wrote a man who described himself as a "humanist teacher."

 

Whang Sang-min, a psychology professor at the prestigious Yonsei University, said: "There is growing resentment toward Christians. Many Koreans feel oppressed by the power of the church."

 

Korea was a Buddhist country 120 years ago, with only a few thousand Christians, mostly Catholics, who faced intense persecution. By the 1960s, Korea had about a million Christians, but their numbers exploded in the decades that followed.

 

Christians now make up 31 per cent of South Korea's population. At night, the Seoul skyline glitters with video billboards and neon lights but all the commercial illumination is rivalled by the thousands of bright red crosses that shine from the churches found on almost every street corner.

 

Korea now has more than 36,000 churches, and many of them are loud and proud with a firm commitment to missionary work and a passionate zeal for evangelism.

 

A typical example is Somang church in the Apgugeong district, Seoul's equivalent of Knightsbridge. It attracts over 15,000 worshippers every Sunday, and the weekly church collection plate rakes in more than £30,000, much of which is devoted to funding overseas missions. The choir is packed with professional and semi-professional opera singers, and the conservative presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak is a member of the congregation.

 

Saemmul, the captive missionaries' church, was formed by a breakaway group from Somang and it has grown so big it recently converted a five-storey shopping centre into a new church - the Yeoido Full Gospel church in central Seoul, which has 750,000 regular attendees, making its congregation the largest in the Christian world.

 

Korea has 16,000 missionaries working overseas, second only to the US.

 

The chairmen of all South Korea's top-10 companies are Christians, as are the majority of National Assembly members.

 

If the Taliban kills another one of its hostages there will be great sadness here, but also more anger against Christians. A posting on Naver earlier this week gives a taste of the degree of resentment some Koreans feel: "The missionaries are getting what they deserve," wrote a woman who described herself as a secular Buddhist. "Maybe now some of them will stop trying to ram Jesus down our throats."

 

Kang Sung-zu, South Korea's ambassador to Afghanistan, has arranged to meet with Taliban forces within the next few days to begin negotiations for the release of the remaining 21 church workers.

 

The Taliban have already killed two of its captives, but it announced yesterday that no more will be executed before the direct negotiations with Mr Kang take place.

 

Wassalam,

Yasnov

Edited by Yasnov

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PropellerAds
Freed South Korean Hostages Apologize

South Korea -- Freed hostages bow to nation upon return from Afghanistan 02sep2007 (Incheon Airport)

Freed hostages bowed to their fellow South Koreans on return from Afghanistan (AFP)

September 2, 2007 -- Nineteen South Korean Christian aid workers freed in the past week by their Taliban captors have apologized to their countrymen for the trouble they caused.

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetrferl(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/featuresarticle/2007/09/528C8095-7276-4223-8BF3-933E0D98F73A.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetrferl(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/featuresarticle/2007/...3E0D98F73A.html[/url]

So, they are apologizing, which means that they admit what they did is wrong?

 

Wassalam,

Yasnov

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Hi all

 

Wow have some heart guys, what if it had been Muslims in another country being kidnapped?

 

as for admitting they were "in the wrong" by saying sorry for the trouble they caused, gez come ons guys one death is too many over religious beliefs.

 

 

You think this is ok?

 

 

Peace :sl:

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* You ever hear any so called Islamic terrorist's say sorry for the trouble they are causing for Muslims as a whole?

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* You ever hear any so called Islamic terrorist's say sorry for the trouble they are causing for Muslims as a whole?

 

No such thing as Islamic terrorists.

 

Sorry, but I'm on a personal war against negative conntations given to the word "Islam".

 

Salam.

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Salam,

 

Hi all

 

Wow have some heart guys, what if it had been Muslims in another country being kidnapped?

I do have hearts. I think if Muslims act as arrogant as the captured Koreans, I personally would turns against them too just like the Korean people. Sorry, no double standard.

 

as for admitting they were "in the wrong" by saying sorry for the trouble they caused, gez come ons guys one death is too many over religious beliefs.

You think this is ok?

I don't know if it is okay, but I don't think what they did is correct. Didn't Jesus and the Apostles leave a particular area where someone was trying to kill them according to Bible? If they went in the Name of Jesus, why would they expect their government to "bail them out", which means they simply cause troubles to Koreans and their government? If they die, they would be martyr, wouldn't this be the right thing according to Bible?

 

Btw, there's lots of places where Christians are not arrested for spreading the gospel freely. They can do their humanitarian works there, such as East Timor (this is the poorest country in Asia now).

 

* You ever hear any so called Islamic terrorist's say sorry for the trouble they are causing for Muslims as a whole?

Nope. Because they don't feel they represent the Ummah; they don't think they are mandated by the Ummah. So, it's different from these Korean it seems.

 

Wassalam,

Yasnov

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Hi all

ok point taken :sl:

 

What if the Uk made it illegal to practice Islam, would we be in the wrong to capture Muslims who try to convert (revert ) others? If people want freedom of speech and freedom to practice there religions in peace without being bothered in one country why not all country's? just a thought :sl:

 

And Layna sorry for any offence caused what should we call them then? Religious terrorists? or misguided terrorists?

 

Peace all :j:

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Hi all

ok point taken :sl:

 

What if the Uk made it illegal to practice Islam, would we be in the wrong to capture Muslims who try to convert (revert ) others? :sl:

Hello Suppersion, actually, this is clear that the situation in Afghanistan or any conflict zones are different. Try to analyze this from the psychological point of view. Try to take into account the local people's psychological/emotional/sociological aspects. At this times, they are very vulnerable to strangers who spread something foreign that are so different with what they believe, especially when they feel they are not in dire need of spiritual assistance, but physical assistance.

 

Wassalam,

Yasnov

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Hi all

 

I understand your words but if they are

not in dire need of spiritual assistance, but physical assistance.

 

Why is there such an objection to the USA/UK's armys giving this Physical assistance? Who else is gonna come to there aid?

 

I personally think we ( the UK ) and the Usa should leave now, why should our people die helping people who hate us? I have to think what is better, having very strict Islamic laws forced on you by the terrorists or have an army help get rid of them.

 

But i feel the damage is done if we pulled out tomorrow what would happen?

 

Peace :sl:

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Salam,

 

Why is there such an objection to the USA/UK's armys giving this Physical assistance? Who else is gonna come to there aid?

This is like someone who steals your money and then feeds you with that stolen money when you are hungry. My point, why would we focus on the US/UK armies giving aids, instead of US/UK armies's invading other people's lands and bombing the civilians? This is the main concern ...

 

I personally think we ( the UK ) and the Usa should leave now, why should our people die helping people who hate us?

This is what I never understood from the Westerners. No Afghanis ever asks the US/UK to come to help them, never. Did they ever threaten you saying that please help us otherwise we would kill you?

 

Wassalam,

Yasnov

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Hi :sl:

 

I know what you saying mate, i to would hate another country trying to invade and lie about it the whole way through about its reasons. I can imagine how it would feel but my point was you said they are in need of physical assistance, but from who then? who would they rather the help came from? just a thought. :sl:

 

 

Peace

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Salam,

 

Hi :sl:

 

I know what you saying mate, i to would hate another country trying to invade and lie about it the whole way through about its reasons. I can imagine how it would feel but my point was you said they are in need of physical assistance, but from who then? who would they rather the help came from? just a thought. :sl:

Peace

Well, what I said actually, when they are in need of physical assistance, the Korean came offering spiritual ones. Btw, I am not aware that the US/UK are giving physical assistance for the Afghans

 

Wassalam,

Yasnov

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