3 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/29/2007
SOUTH KOREA – AFGHANISTAN
Korean bishop expresses joy for hostages, sense of humiliation for Taliban deal
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik, bishop of Taejŏn and chairman of Caritas Corea, talks to AsiaNews about the “dangerous precedent” set by the South Korean authorities in dealing directly with Islamic fundamentalists. People in South Korea feel joy that human lives were spared, but also humiliation about Protestant Churches, which have come under intense criticism in South Korean society.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The agreement sealed by the South Korean government and the Talibans for the release of Christian hostages is “a source of joy because human life must always come first. But at the same time it should not set an example for the rest of the world,” said Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik, bishop of Taejŏn and chairman of Caritas Corea, when he heard about the release of the first South Korean Christian hostages abducted in Afghanistan on July 19.

The prelate told AsiaNews that “the release of Protestant missionaries has set a dangerous precedent. Our government humiliated itself by dealing with fundamentalists. Now they can think they can do the same with other hostages. At the same time, the agreement humiliated Protestant Churches who have been much criticised at home for their action abroad and for the ransom many think they paid.”

This is because “Korean Protestants are sometime themselves fundamentalist and aggressive in their faith. They talk about social service but in reality seek conversions, often forcefully. This is no true evangelical spirit; it is not true mission. Now many have come to realise this here (in South Korea) as well.”

South Korean Protestant organisations welcomed the agreement between the government and the Talibans with joy. They have pledged not to undertake any missionary activities in Afghanistan as agreed to in the release deal.

Christian Council of Korea Chairman Lee Yong-kyu thanked the government for its efforts on behalf of the hostages and expressed sympathy for the families of the captives.

The Korea National Council of Churches in a statement Tuesday night said it was “right to respect the government’s agreement with the Taliban,” adding that it will use the hostage crisis as a opportunity to reflect on Korean Churches’ overseas missionary strategies and to devise more effective and safer ways to carry out missionary activities abroad.

But for Choi Han-woo, head of the Institute of Asian Culture and Development and organiser of an abortive “peace rally” of Korean Christians in Afghanistan last year, the Talibans “apparently demanded the ban to officially define Korean volunteer activities as missionary work and to justify their abduction.” Still he said that his organisation will pull out its “aid workers” from Afghanistan by late this month in compliance with the agreement.

Although two Christian missionaries were killed, the families of Korean hostages expressed joy and happiness for the successful end to the incident.

Ryu Haeng-sik, whose wife was among the hostages, said: “I could not tell my child that his mother was kidnapped,” but now “I am truly grateful to tell him that his mother will return.”


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/03/2006 AFGHANISTAN – SOUTH KOREA
Kabul to expel Korean evangelicals
08/14/2007 AFGHANISTAN – SOUTH KOREA
Two women freed by Talibans soon home
06/16/2006 SOUTH KOREA
Christian groups claim right to manage their own schools
08/16/2007 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
Caritas Corea to help northern flood victims
08/31/2007 SOUTH KOREA – AFGHANISTAN
Final hostages freed, Korea evaluates the cost of the kidnapping

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.