Sunday, July 22, 2007

Korean missionaries kidnapped in Afghanistan

More than 20 Korean missionaries were kidnapped by Taliban in Afghanistan, and Taliban is threatening to kill them unless the Korean government agrees to withraw its army from Afghnistan.

A similar incident happened barely three years ago, where a Korean man was kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq and ended up dead, and I remember how sympathetic all Koreans were for him.

I expected similar reaction this time, only to be surprised how little sympathy, if any, Koreans are showing. Some even say the Koreans are to blame for all the trouble they caused for the country, and they deserve to die because they volunteered to go there for their own interests at their own risk.

Well, for one, it shows how a lot of Koreans hate Cristians for their agressiveness in propagating their religion - you'll see what I'm talking about if you go to Korea , and get dragged by these Christians and preached on the street.

So it's interesting - although they don't seem to remember the fact that the man killed in Iraq was also a missionary and worked for a company in Iraq, supported by some Christian group, and I don't agree that any one deserves to die like that.

Also, what they say is logically flawed. By saying the Koreans are to blame because it would not have happened if they didn't go, they assume the Koreans provided a reason for Taliban to kidnap them. Which we don't know for sure, because Taliban hasn't really referred to any of the Koreans' activities in Afghanistan or their identity.

The Koreans didn't go there to get kidnapped; they just happened to be there. We don't know if Taliban kidnapped them because of what they did there; it's more likely Taliban kidnapped them to use them as a tool for negotiations with the Korean government. If anything, they are victims of politics - the Korean government provided a reason for Taliban to kidnap them after all.

But, on the other hand, it gets me to think about Christianity's audacity, which, in the end, is a hidden element in America's current war on terrorism, and historically has been a source of many conflicts.

The idea that you can just go to a country - never mind it's a muslim country - and help people by teaching them a foreign religion that is Christianity troubles me. What other religions do that? It is rooted in the idea that Christianity is a superior religion to anything else, so your mission is a holy one. It is indeed dangerous and ignorant thinking, and you don't do that unless you are 100% sure what you are doing and ready to die for your cause, in which case, your death is indeed soley a private matter of choice that doesn't have to be a public issue in the first place.

I wonder if the church that sent them to Afghanistan prepared the missionaries for this kind of extreme situation, and if they knew what they were walking into, or if they just thought they were going on a field trip for something that makes you look like a good person. The latter could well be the case, given reports saying they were walking outside in Afghanistan like it was Seoul. If so, it's a shame on the church and its utter hypocrisy.