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Korea: After the Release – Abductees in Afghanistan

Finally, the 21 Korean abductees returned to Korea. While people are pleased to see them in good condition, there are numerous criticisms about them. It seems that their attitudes and the church’s reaction after their release have brought out more arguments. In addition, how to deal with the amount of money that the Korean government allegedly gave the Taliban, despite the government’s denial, has been one of the biggest arguments. The release was not the end of the story of this incident for Korean society.
Last weekend, blogs displayed photos that were taken when the abductees came out of Incheon Airport in Korea. Some of them carried duty freeshop bags while they bowed and apologized for the trouble they made. The photos gave rise to the question of whether they went to duty free shops. Whether it is true or not, another criticism was added toward them. In addition, a priest’s and other abductees’ interviews have resulted in more attention and criticism.

Many bloggers tried to track down their shopping bags.

고국으로 돌아오는 비행기..비지니스 석에 두바이 면세점에서 쇼핑까지..
쇼핑한 선글라스가 참 눈에 확 띄네요..선글라스 챙길 정신은 있었나 봅니다.
이분들 때문에 아프간에서 일을 하시던 교민 2000여분까지 일자리 몽땅 잃고..
(증거) 두바이 쇼핑몰 로고가 피랍자들이 손에 든 쇼핑백 로고와 일치합니다.

Airplane returning to their country… from business class to shopping at Dubai duty free shops… Sunglasses they bought were so noticeable… They seem to have spare time to check sunglasses. Due to those people, Korean expats there lost their jobs…
(evidence) The logo of a Dubai shopping mall matches the logo on abductees’ shopping bags.

Many bloggers disagree with it, but criticize their attitudes.

아프간 피랍자들 고국에 돌아왔죠. 역시 예상했던 데로 욕이란 욕은 다먹고 오만소리 다 나오더군요. 저도 기독교인입니다. 하지만 이 이들이 잘한일이라고는 생각하지 않습니다. 풀려나니까 차 안에서 웃고 있는 장면들까지…오히려 화가 나더군요. 근데, 어이없게 근거없는 소리들로 욕은 안했으면 좋겠습니다.
대표적인게 쇼핑백… 초등학생도 생각하면 알 수 있습니다. 상식적으로 40일 넘게 잡혀있다가 풀려났는데 쇼핑이 가능하다고 보십니까? 탈레박에게 당연히 모든 소지품은 다 뺐겼겠죠. 잡혀있을 동안 한 벌만 입고 지냈던 사람들이 어디서 돈이 갑자기 생겨서 기분좋다고 쇼핑을 합니까. 저들이 한 일들이 절대 잘했다고는 말 못하지만 잘했고 잘못했다를 따지기 전에 한국의 국민이고 사람입니다. 한 달이 넘도록 편안하게 생활했던 것도 아니고 호텔에서 머무는 정도는 저 개인적으로 괜찮다고 생각합니다.
선글라스 걸고 나오고, 풀려났다고 실실 웃다가 귀국할때 휠체어 타고 나오고 .. 이런건 저도 너무 어이 없어서 웃음이 났습니다. 누가 어떤 사람이 욕을 하든 아무도 말리진 않지만 근거없이 무작정 욕은 하지않았으면 좋겠고, 또 어차피 저들은 조금만 지나면 또 아무일 없었다는 듯이 교회 다니고 직장다니면서 살겠죠. 욕해봐야 아무 소용없었습니다. 그냥 무시하고 우리는 웃으면서 사는게 맘 편하다는 뜻이죠.

The abductees came back. Like we expected, they receive all criticisms now. I am also a Christian, but I don’t think they did good things. The scene… laughing in the car after the release… I was rather angry. But I hope that there are no criticisms without any evidence.
One thing is about shopping bags… even elementary school students will know. Judging by common sense, how is it possible for them to go shopping after 40 day release? They must have lost all belongings from the Taleban. They kept themselves with one piece of clothes for 40 days. What kind of mood could they have for shopping? I know what they did was not regarded as good, but before we judge them, they are Koreans and humans. As for my own opinion, I think that it’s fine for them, who had stayed in horrible situations for 40 days, to stay a hotel.
Indeed, coming out of the airport gate with sunglasses, giggling after release and, using wheel chairs when they arrived and came out of the airport gate… those scenes were too much. I can’t stop people who would like to criticize them, but I hope they do not criticize them recklessly. I am sure that, after a while, they will go to church and go to work like nothing happened. It would be useless to criticize them. I mean that it would be better for us to ignore them and to have our own lives.

There were netizens who were happy about their safe return.

어제까지만 해도 피랍자건 개신교건 다 짜증이 났는데 막상 저들이 머리숙여 죄송하다고 하는 말에 측은지심이 생기는것은 그들도 미우나 고우나 대한민국 국민이구나 하는 생각이 드네요. 머리숙여 죄송하다고 하고 나중에 소상히 기자회견에서 말해준다고 하니 그 기자회견을 기다려보죠. 솔직히 저들보단 가장 짜증났던것이 개신교단체들이죠. 선교활동을 계속 하곘다는 투덜거림도 짜증이 나구요. 일단 몸 다 추스리고 정신적 충격인 트라우마가 있을테니 안정된 시간들 어여 갖기를 바랍니다. 40일간의 공포 다 씯고 지난 일에 대한 반성과 성찰이 함꼐 하길 바랍니다.

I was annoyed by the abductee scandal until yesterday. But watching those abductees bowed and apologied, I felt sympathy and no matter what they did they’re our people.
Let’s wait for their interview that they promised to learn what went on in detail later. Honestly, I was more annoyed at the Protestan groups than those people. I was annoyed at their insistence on continuing their missionary activities.
I hope that they have enough time to be stable from spiritual trauma and physical weakness they must have. I hope that they erase the 40 day fear and have time to reflect on themselves.

And here is more.

이 사람들, 나의 이웃이었다면 좋은 이웃이 살아 돌아 온 것에 기쁘다고 생각했을지도 모른다는 생각을 했다. 40여일 동안 사지에서 평생 해도 모자랄 인간적 고뇌를 했을 것이며, 서로의 친구였음에 분명한 두 사람의 죽음을 맞닥뜨린 사람들의 마음엔 어떤 상처가 남아 있을지 생각하니 내 마음이 다 무겁다. 부디 두 사람의 몫까지 다들 건강하게 살아주시길.

These people, if they were my neighbors, I thought that I would be happy that my nice neighbors came back safely. They must have been through agony being in a dangerous position for 40 days. I feel heavy to think about how they faced their two friends’ death and how painful it must be. I hope that they live healthily for those two people.

The current arguments are focusing on the question of how the government solved this problem and on how those abductees, their families, and the church behave after their release.

아프간 선교여행단들의 귀환소식과 협상비용소식,,
그리고 협상비용을 소방대원의 구조활동과 비교하여 지불할 수 없다던 가족들의 행태를 보고
실소를 금치 못한다.

시종일관 거짓말로 선교여행을 봉사활동으로 허위보도하는 언론의 모습과
그 와중에도 책임은 회피하며 수천의 배형규목사가 나와야 한다는 샘물교회목사..
정부상대로 고소까지 생각하고 있다는 피랍자가족의 인터뷰..

하나하나 다 스트레스다.

정부는 여전히 협상과정에서 돈을 주고 받지 않았다지만,,
탈레반측에서는 200억원을 받았다며 재정난해소에 감사를 표하고 있고,,
외신에서의 총비용 300억설은 신빙성을 갖는다.
연신 거짓말로 일관하던 정부의 석방비용제로라는 말에 신뢰를 갖는 이가 과연 몇명이나 있을까?!

대외적으로도 테러단체 무기구입비를 원조해준 한국에 비난의 목소리가 커져가고 있고, 21인의 생환에 곱지않은 시선을 보내는 이도 많다.

이제 당신들이 살아돌아와서 말하겠다..
나는 솔직히 위험지역 출국을 만류하는 정부의 경고를 뿌리치고
7일짜리 예수를 찬양하는 중동여행에서 잡힌 당신들이
정부의 테러단체와의 협상으로 구출되지 않기를 바랐다.

비단 악한마음에서 바란것이 아니라 협상과정에서의 국익을 저해함과 향후 테러단체의 위협증가 및
21인의 목숨값때문에 탈레반에서 죽어갈 수천의 어린생명이 걱정되어서였다.

21인의 생환자들은 억류중에도 단식기도를 하며 성경글귀와 함께 피랍일지를 기록 했다고 자랑한다.
그렇다면 그곳에서 순교는 왜 못하는가?!
당신들의 예수찬양여행이 자신들의 신념에 부합한다면 기꺼이 죽을 수도 있지 않은가?
왜 테러단체에 자금을 원조하고, 봉사단체를 철수하게 만들며, 테러군사정부의 힘을 실어주는일을
야기시키는가?!

당신들이 죽었으면 탈레반 테러단체에 돈도 건네지 않았을 것이고 아프간 어린생명들의 목숨도 살아날 가능성이 많다. 당신들의 7일짜리 중동여행때문에 진짜 봉사마저 길이 막혔으며 탈레반은 더 많은 인질극을 벌이겠다고 세상에 공표까지 한다.

당신들이 잡혀있을때는 행여나 저주의 말이 될까봐 못했던 말 이제 살아왔으니 쓴소리를 달게 받아들여라.

미안하지만 나는 테러단체와의 협상과 굴복에 의해당신들이 살아돌아오는 것을 진심으로 바라지 않았다.

News about the safe return of the missionary group from Afghanistan and negotiating expense… I cannot help laughing at families’ attitudes that they said they will not pay the expense, comparing them with firefighters’ rescue.
Mass media’s attitude to report falsely about those missionaries’ trip as volunteering activities, and the Saem-mul Church priest who avoids responsibility and insists that there should be several thousand more priests like Bae Hyung-gyu (who died of this accident)…Interviews from the abductee’s family who is thinking about suing the government…
Everything is stressful.
The government still says that they didn’t give any money under the process of the negotiation, but the Taleban expressed appreciation to the government for solving their financial problems with 20 milion dollars (US dollars). The 30 million dollars mentioned by the foreign mass media might be true. How many people will trust the government’s insistence that the release expense was zero?
Inside and ouside Korea, the critical voices that our money was used to support terrorists’ finance to buy weapons are getting bigger and bigger. Many people are not watching those 21 people with nice eyes.
Now I can speak loudly because you came back alive. You ignored the warning of the government that you should avoid the dangerous district and you were kidnapped with the 7 day Middle East trip to praise Jesus Christ. Honestly speaking, I hope that you did not escape from the terrorists’ group.
That doesn’t mean I have an evil mind. I was worried several thousands of innocent lives who will die by Taleban weapons that were bought with the money for 21 hostages. It will increase the threat of terrorists and destroy national advantages.
Those 21 hostages were proud that while they were under detention, they had amber days and wrote in their journal quoting the Bible. Then why didn’t you think about martyrdom? If you think that the trip to praise your Jesus Christ is for your belief, why didn’t you dare to die? Why did you cause us to support terrorists financially, let other volunteering groups withdraw, and let those terrorists have more power?
If you died, we didn’t have to give money to Taleban terrorists and Afghan children will be saved more. Due to your seven day trip, real volunteers can’t work anymore and Taleban announced that they will commit more kidnappings.
I couldn’t say any bitter words or curse because you were under detention. But now you came back safely. Take these words regardless of bitterness.
Sorry to speak, but I sincerely didn’t hope that you came back alive through negotiation and submission to the terrorists’ group.

A blogger made lists which parts should be considered through this missionary activity.

일단 피랍자분들의 생환을 진심으로 축하드리고고인이 되신 두 분께는 심심한 위로의 말씀을 드립니다.
거의 모든 네티즌들이 이야기했다시피, 일단 사람은 살리고 본 다음에 나중에 ‘결산하자'고 했으니, 이제 결산의 때가 오고 있군요. 이에 관련된 보도들을 근거로 이들과 샘물교회가 철없이 저지른 잘못의 댓가가 얼마나 될런지, 아니 얼마가 되어야 마땅한지 산수한번 해봐야 할 것입니다.
1. 피랍자 21인의 귀국관련 직접비용
다행히도, 정부는 이들의 귀국에 관련된 비용을 교회와 개인에게 청구하겠다고 했습니다. 그러나 이 기사에서 나타나는 교회측의 어처구니없는 발언은 아직도 정신을 못차렸다는 생각밖에 들지 않는군요. 이번 사태와 관련, 샘물교회의 대언론 창구 역할을 맡고 있는 권혁수 장로는 연합뉴스와 전화통화에서 “석방자들의 귀국 항공료와 희생자 2명의 운구비를 교회에서 전액 부담하기로 했다”며 “석방자들의 국내에서의 병원 치료비 문제에 대해서는 내부에서 논의 중”이라고 밝혔다. 권장로는 “배형규 목사, 심성민씨 시신 운구와 김경자.김지나씨의 귀국 및 입원치료와 관련해 외교부에서 항공료와 치료비는 가족들이 부담해야 한다고 알려왔다”며 “그러나 교회에서 최선을 다하는 의미에서 일단 항공료는 전액 지불키로 했다”고 설명했다.

그러니까 정부에서 내라는 돈도 못내겠다는 심뽀라는 얘긴데, 이러다 뭇매 맞지 싶습니다.
샘물교회측은 당연한 비용인 귀국항공료와 함께 현지 호텔에서의 체재비용은 두바이-카불-델리를 모두 거쳐야 하는 4일간의 여정이므로 이때의 모든 비용이 포함되어야 합니다. 이 글을 쓰는 동안에 ‘치료비는 생각해보겠다'에서 ‘치료비도 내겠다'로 바뀌었군요.
2. 정부와 협상단 비용
이번에 파견된 정부와 협상단, 미국과 방글라데시, 사우디아라비아 등 이슬람국가와의
협상비용은 물론이거니와 이들 관리들의 항공료와 체재비 등도 변제해야 합니다.
애초 출발시에 정부의 방침에 반해서 ‘우리가 책임지겠다'고 한 만큼 약속은 지켜야겠죠.
협상단은 주로 고위관리들이라 일등석에 특급호텔이었을테니 부담 만만치 않을듯합니다.
몸값에 대해서는 이견이 있지만 만약 있다면 정부는 떳떳이 밝히고 정당히 구상권을
청구하는 것이 옳다고 봅니다. 일본의 전례를 참조해야겠지요.

3. 교민과 NGO단체, 기업의 피해보상
이번 사태로 인해 본의아니게 피해롤 본 현지 교민들과 현지봉사단체의 직접손해배상도
당연히 샘물교회가 책임져야 할 부분입니다. 개신교도의 폭력적인 선교 탓에 졸지에 삶의 터전을 잃은 이들 교민은 샘물교회측에
소송을 통해서라도 피해입은 부분을 보상받는 것이 올바른 방법이라고 생각합니다.

4. 사망자에 관련한 책임
이번 사태로 목숨을 잃은 두분께는 원인이야 어찌되었든 안타깝기 그지없습니다.
그러나 고귀한 목숨을 잃은 책임은 엄연히 샘물교회측에 있는 바, 유족의 소송은
당연한 결과라고 할 수 있겠습니다. 이 기사가 나고나서 샘물교회측은 부랴부랴 심씨가족에게 연락을 취한다 방문한다 하고
있지만 이미 아들을 잃은 유족의 슬픔은 달래지지 않을 것입니다.
샘물교회측은 인지상정으로 덮으려 하지 말고 솔직하게 잘못을 인정하고 적절한 배상을 해야
‘하나님의 공평하심'을 실천하는 것이라고 생각합니다…

뱀발 – 이제야 언론이 눈치를 조금 덜 보는군요.
그간 국민의 정서는 깡그리 무시한 채 교회측의 입장만 전달하던 언론이 석방이 되고 난
후부터 조금씩 본연의 모습을 찾아가기 시작하는 것 같아 그나마 다행으로 생각합니다.
관련기사 – “피랍사태 관련 비용, 정부가 물을 이유 없다”
내용은 같더라도 헤드라인을 어떻게 뽑느냐에 따라 사설만큼의 여론조정이 있다는 것을
아주아주 잘 아시는 언론인들께서 뽑은 제목이니만큼 이후의 보도를 지켜봐야 할 듯합니다.

그러나, 석방이 알려지자마자 가족대표와 교회측은 ‘정부와 언론에 감사한다'고 한 것으로
보아 이들이 언론에 특별한 부탁을 했고 그것을 잘 들어주신 언론에 감사할수밖에 없다는
것은 그대로 표가 날 수밖에 없는 상황이 되었군요. 언론에 감사해야죠. 당연히…

정말, 다시는 이런 물의를 일으키지 않는,
정말로 선교보다 봉사가 목적인 교회가 되기 바랍니다.

진정한 선교란, ‘예수님처럼'이라 말하며 ‘착하고 올바른’ 삶을 사는 신자들의 모습에
감화되어 그것이 ‘예수님을 따르는 삶'인줄 알고 하나님을 믿게 하는 것이라고 생각합니다.
폭력적이고 강압적인, 또는 협박과 꼬드김으로 하는 선교가 아니라
몸소 봉사를 실천하고 선행을 보여주는 일관된 삶을 사는 것 자체가 ‘하나님의 뜻'이요
‘예수님의 삶'이라는 것을 전파하는 것이 옳지 않겠습니까?

First, congratulations on the safe return of all abductees. And I am sorry for the two abducted who passed away. Many netizens agreed to save those people first of all and, after that, we should talk about this accident. Finally the time to talk about this story came. We should talk about how much Saem-mul Church and these abductees committeed immature mistakes and how we have to deal with these.
1. Expenses to take these 21 abductees back.
Fortunately, the government said that they will ask the church and individual abductees about expenses for their return. However, the church’s absurd comments make me feel that they still don’t get it. The presbyter, Kwon Hyuk-su, said “we will take care of flight expenses for 21 people and transferring fee for two corpses,” and “we’re still discussing whether we will take care of the hospital fee for the first two abductees” in an interview with Yonhap News. He said “the Foreign Ministry told us that families should be in charge of flight and hospital fees for two abductees and transferring fee of Mr. Sim’s corpse” and continued “for the expression of our best, the church will pay the flight fee.”
Therefore, they are not going to pay everything that the government asked. They’re going to be criticized more. The church should pay the flight fee, accommodation fee for staying at a hotel in Afghanistan, and four day route fee from Dubai, to Kabul, and to Delhi.
While I am writing this, the church changed their mind and said that they will pay the hospital fee.
2. Expenses for the government and negotiation group.
They should consider the expense for the dispatched group from the government and the negotiating fee with America, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim countries. Before they headed off, they didn’t follow the government’s advice and promised ‘we’ll take the whole responsibility.’ I am sure that the negotiating group must have stayed at an expensive hotel and therefore the expense must not be small. There are several opinions about the hostage fee. The government should publicize how much they had to pay and should ask the church in terms of the right to indemnity. We should find out how Japan responded to this problem.
3. Compensation for the loss to the Korean community, NGOs, and enterprises.
The church should take responsibity for Korean expats, volunteering groups, and enterprises that got unexpected damanges due to this accident. Due to the Protestans’ violent mission, there are Koreans who lost their livelihoods there. They should demand compensation through legal processes.
4. Responsibility for death.
Regardless of the causes, I am sorry for the two people who passed away. This responsibility should be on the church and the families should demand compensation. After the media interview with one of the families, the church hurriedly contacted Mr. Sim’s family and visited them, but it will not console the family over his death. The church should recognize their mistakes and the appropriate compensation will be how they can act on ‘Jesus Christ’s justice.’
Snakes’ legs – finally the media see how the wind blows.
Disregarding how we think, the media always conveyed the side of the church. After the release, they started recognizing their original roles (like an article, “Expenses for the hostages. The government doesn’t have to pay.” But after the release, the family representative and the church said, “we appreciate the government and the media” It seems that they asked some special requests to the media and maybe that’s why they would like to thank them. Of course they must appreciate them. Of course…
I really hope that the church recognizes their truthful goal, which is not a mission that makes so many troubles, but service.
The truthful mission is that, through looking at Christians speaking like ‘Jesus Christ’ and having ‘righteous and good lives,’ people see ‘the life following Jesus Christ’ and can become believers. Not violent and coercive mission or threat and enticement, but volunteering in person and consistent lives with good conduct would be the right way to spread ‘God’s mind, and ‘Jesus Christ’s life.’

1 comment

  • David

    Speaking from a UK perspective I can say that of course we are glad that the hostages were returned safely, nobody should wish harm on others. But what is it about Korean Christians (and I do know quite a lot). Why are you so aggressive, so arrogant, big mouthed and so fool-hardy? Why do you find it necessary to push your out of date religion down everybody else’s throats and even those who already have their own faith? What happened to tolerance? I guess that you think by being as fanatical as possible buys you a spot in heaven? Ha, you are just as crazy as the Taliban. Perhaps in a few years you will be planting bombs in Buddhist temples and sending suicide bombers to blow up non-Christan infidels!
    Shame on the whole Korean Protestant community who supported these mindless idiots and the criminal priest that ordered this pathetic, pointless trip. Haven’t you heard of live and let live? I wonder what your God makes of the reckless actions that have achieved absolutley nothing positive and just caused a lot of grief, pain and worry for your friends and families. Grow up, you don’t need to stamp around the world like a conquering power (yes like us British used to) pushing your redundant opinions and beliefs on people who may be quite happy with their own beliefs. It is people like you so called ‘missionaries’ that are the source of much misery and evil in the world today. You Saem-mul Church are instruments of the devil masqerading under the banner of God. Shame on you all.

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