m a r k a n d e y a

If you play with fire…

Posted by Brian on July 23, 2007

Take one part sterotypical Korean stubbornness and one part Christian martyrdom complex and you end up with Korean Christians doing very, very stupid things. This post from the Marmot’s Hole is just too much:

Then there’s this photo taken by the group on their departure from Korea. Speechless.  The site also details the group’s long passage to Afghanistan (note: this is on a blog site, and I can’t confirm if the chronology is accurate) — the Foreign Ministry warned Bundang Saemmul Church several times and even canceled the group’s airline tickets the first time they tried to buy them (leading the church to threaten to sue the state).  Upon learning of their departure, the ministry even sent a chartered plane to bring the group back, which they refused.  The church also apparently told the Foreign Ministry to stop worrying about them since the group would leave behind wills.

The photo Robert is refering to is that of a few of these missionaries posing in front of a large WARNING signing put up bby the KOREAN GOVERNMENT STRONGLY ADVISING Korean nationals NOT to travel to Afghanistan. Far from reconsidering the dangerous path they were on, these folks were giggling and flashing Korean-style V signs.

Then there is this, reported by Gord Sellar in one of Robert’s comments sections:

Besides which, and to return back to the focus of these individual’s trip as well as the earlier topic of “rudeness,” these people not only happily posed in front of signs warning them not to go there, but they also visited a mosque and, after complimenting the guardsman on its beauty, noticing his pride in the place, and then asking a guard permission to sing, they started singing Christian worship songs there. (”It sounded so beautiful, like music from heaven,” was the description the somewhat witless blogger-turned-hostage wrote at the time.) They also visited the tomb of someone they were told was an important Islamic leader, so they decided to have a worship service to God there. I’m sorry, but how do you think the members of their home church in Korea would react if a group of Muslim missionaries entered their church, complimented its beauty, and started kneeling on the floor and singing prayers to Allah there?

We’re definitely treading into Darwin Award territory now; it takes a special sort of death-defying carelessness to throw one’s self so eagerly into harm’s way. They should have just jumped out of their airplane halfway there sans parachute and saved the pilot the hassle of landing.

GI Korea is also reporting that the tour group was motoring around Afghanistan in a jumbo-sized Korean-style tour bus. They probably would have been less conspicuous in the Partridge Family bus.

I know this sounds terrible, but I have zero sympathy for these people. They gleefully ignored numerous warnings no to go there and, once there, went out of their way to attract undue attention to themselves. IF you play with fire, you’re going to get burned. It’s that simple.

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