"South Korea's missions movement received a growing amount of criticism after a group of 23 church volunteers were abducted in July while traveling in Afghanistan on a medical-aid trip.One thing that should be noted is that the Presbyterian church that sent these health workers has a reputation for humanitarian work, as do many of the churches in South Korea.
Shortly after the group was taken hostage, several Korean newspapers published editorials questioning the Christians' decision to travel to a dangerous country. One of South Korea's widely circulated newspapers, The Chosun Ilbo, chastised Christians, saying they were taking unnecessary risks abroad.
'It is simply futile for Koreans to engage in missionary or other religious activities in a country like Afghanistan,' the July 23 editorial stated. '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.'..."
This is not the first time Korean aid workers have paid the cost of discipleship with their lives, yet they continue to look for ways of serving around the world.
While is is entirely understandable that many churches in South Korea are reevaluating their methods, I cannot support those who "blame the victim" for all of this, especially in view of the fact that these courageous men and women are trying to make a positive difference in a part of the world that so desperately needs to experience compassion.