19 South Koreans return home after release from Taliban captivity

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Taliban riding in a truck in Herat, Afghanistan.

Nineteen South Korean Christians are released from insurgents after being held captive for six weeks. The 19 South Koreans return to a nation that is glad the hostage situation has been resolved and is over. However, they also face a country that is angry with their decision to travel to Afghanistan despite the Afghan government advising them not to.

We owe a big debt to the nation and people, said Yoo Kyung Shik, the oldest of the freed hostages.

One South Korean man was reportedly stopped by the police when he attempted to hurl eggs at the freed Christians. The South Korean people are demanding to know who is to blame for the crisis and damaging South Korea's reputation.

I expect cannonballs of criticism flying at churches for causing such a disturbance, for squandering national energy and money... This is a good opportunity for Christian-bashing in a society that has been frowning upon churches, said Reverend Kim Myung Hyuk

The South Korean government promised to send no more Christian missionaries into the country.

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