Taliban frees Korean hostages as Seoul bans Afghan mission work

Church debates safety in missions
With the release of 19 kidnapped Korean Christians taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the leader of the national church council in South Korea said that the traumatic, 40-day event may stimulate church debate in that nation on ways to plan safer and more effective missions.

The Koreans were released at the end of August after the Seoul government announced that it was withdrawing its 200 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, as scheduled, and would stop missionary work by Koreans there.

Kwon Oh-sung, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea, said it was “natural” that churches would respect the government ruling. “We hope that [the kidnapping] will be a start of enabling us to do more effective and safer services and missions,” said Kwon in a statement August 31. “We will make efforts in various ways, such as holding a major debate.”


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