08/31/2007, 00.00
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Final hostages freed, Korea evaluates the cost of the kidnapping

The remaining 7 hostages, kidnapped in Afghanistan in July, where freed yesterday evening. The government asks families to contribute to the payment of the ransom, while the general public attacks the Presbyterian Church responsible for having organised the mission.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Few hours after the release of the last 7 hostages, South Korean has begun to evaluate the diplomatic and human cost of the kidnap of the 23 Christian missionaries by Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan six weeks ago.


In order to obtain the release of its citizens the Korean government was forced to negotiate directly with the Taliban and promise the withdrawal of its troops within the year as well as a ban on all missionary activity in the country.


According to the bishop of Daejon president of Caritas Korea Msgr. Lazzaro You, this gesture “has humiliated the nation”, while the leader of Kabul-s Christian community Fr.  Moretti, speaks of a “dangerous precedent, which could be used to force all non Muslims out of the country”.


Korean society has also added its voice to the general criticism, and has begun to denounce the Protestants “irresponsible behaviour”. Shim Chin-pyo, father of one of the hostages killed during the course of the crises, has attacked the Presbyterian Saemmul church: “I really wonder why the church was so reckless in taking them to the dangerous country”.


Seoul appears to share this opinion, in fact it has asked the families of the hostages to contribute to paying the ransom and air tickets for the missionaries return home.

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