Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taliban to release Korean hostages - CNN.com

Taliban to release Korean hostages - CNN.com:
"SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- South Korean negotiators in Afghanistan have reached a deal with Taliban militants holding 19 South Korean Christian aid workers for over a month, a presidential spokesman in Seoul said Tuesday.

The group of South Koreans was kidnapped in Ghazni province on July 19. Seoul welcomes the deal, but spokesman Cheon Ho-sun cautioned that many details must still be worked out and the aid workers will not be released immediately.

Under the terms of the agreement, South Korea agreed to stick by its previous decision to withdraw its 200 non-combat troops from Afghanistan, which work mostly in an engineering and medical capacity."
I am pretty conflicted over this. On one hand I am happy that this hostage crisis may be nearing an end, without further murders on the part of their kidnappers. On the other hand, I cannot see how this can have any other effect but to embolden the kidnappers, and I suspect there will be more such kidnappings.

Other reports indicate that South Korea has agreed not to send missionaries in the future to Afghanistan. It needs to be noted that this group did not go to evangelize; they went to work in a medical facility. The 200 Korean troops were engaged in rebuilding infrastructure as well as medical work.

The kidnappers' strategy seems to target humanitarian efforts as much as anything else. Why, I can only speculate, but it has been said that the war on terror cannot be won militarily. It can only be won by helping to alleviate the causes of unrest and by improving the lives of the people. I suspect the terrorists know this, and that, in part, is why humanitarian groups are targeted.

I hope these Korean church workers find ways to show Christ's love by loving others. It would be a shame to see the Korean church withdraw insides its own borders.

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