Martyrs

Pastor BaeRepeating the introduction to my August 1 post: Some 21 South Koreans are being held hostage by practitioners of the “religion of peace” in Afghanistan. Of course, by the time of this writing, there may be fewer, since the Koreans are being murdered, in cold blood.

Perhaps in the future, we will celebrate the story of these brave martyrs for Christ. For right now, the South Korean missionaries still being held by the murderous Taliban. The following is from James Taranto’s Best of the Web for August 6:

Last month an editorial in Chosun Ilbo criticized the hostages:

It is simply futile for Koreans to engage in missionary or other religious activities in a country like Afghanistan, which has a history of deep hatred toward Christianity and is wracked by gunfights, kidnappings and suicide bombings. Even the governor of the province where the Koreans were kidnapped said the abductees should have stayed home and should not have been in war-torn Afghanistan. . . .Religious groups should realize once and for all that dangerous missionary and volunteer activities in Islamic countries including Afghanistan not only harm Korea’s national objectives, but also put other Koreans under a tremendous amount of duress.

One can hardly dispute this as a description of reality. On the other hand, one man’s foolhardiness is another’s courage. The hostages who’ve been murdered are martyrs not only for their own faith but also for the secular principle of freedom of religion.

It is true that in many parts of the Muslim world, people are not free to worship as they choose. The Korean hostages rightly viewed this as unacceptable and put their lives on the line to do something about it. The sentiment is admirable even if the effort was unavailing or counterproductive.

The South Koreans have not forgotten the faces of the early church fathers, who valued loyalty to Jesus Christ worth more than their earthly bodies.

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