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Korean Hostages Told, Convert to Islam or Die


September 12, 2007

South Korean Christian aid workers held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan for six weeks, reported being beaten and ordered at gun point to convert to Islam, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

According to the BBC, the former hostages told a press conference they were made to work like slaves while in captivity. Jae Chang-hee told reporters,

“We were beaten with a tree branch or kicked around. Some kidnappers threatened us with death at gunpoint to force us to follow them in chanting their Islamic prayer for conversion. I was beaten many times. They pointed a rifle and bayonet at me and tried to force me to convert.”

Jae Chang-hee added, “We lived like slaves. We had to level the ground for motorbikes, and get water and make a fire.”

BBC reported that Yu Jung-hwa said she thought she was going to die.

“The most difficult moment, when I had a big fear of death, was when the Taliban shot a video. All 23 of us leaned against a wall and armed Taliban aimed their guns at us, and a pit was before me. They said they will save us if we believe in Islam. I almost fainted at the time and I still cannot look at cameras.” On July 19, the Taliban kidnapped the 23 South Korean Christian aid workers when they were traveling by bus from Kabul to Kandahar. The group’s leader, Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu, and another male hostage were killed.

Twenty-one members of the group were released last month following an agreement between South Korea and the Taliban.

Recalling how Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu was led away to his death, the BBC said Han Ji-young, in tears, added, “Bae didn’t even look at us when he was leaving the room. He only said, ‘Overcome with faith.’”

Continue praying for God to touch the lives of these believers as they deal with their experience in Afghanistan. Pray God comforts the families of the two that were killed. Pray the testimony of these Christians will draw non-believers into fellowship with Him.

This is happening NOW. Not 100 years ago.

And we sit in our American churches and argue about___________________________. You fill in the blank and tell me if it’s worth it.

Having been in ministry for over 20 years I have heard a lot of complaining that goes on in church and I’ve personally been a part of a fair share it.

Shame on me, shame on us as Christians.

Unfortunately, churches spend so much time arguing about ridiculous things (that usually just involve the pride of one or a few people) that they can’t get down to the real business of what the Church is supposed to do.

Let’s commit to getting past this stuff. Let’s commit to pray for our leaders instead of criticize.

Let’s put out fires instead of encourage them.

A time may come in our nation that we cannot worship as freely as we do now and we may face persecution like they do in South Korea.

Are we prepared for that?

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