This is a photo of the 23 South Koreans (18 women, five men) who were abducted by the Taliban in Afghanistan six days ago. The group includes doctors and nurses who went to Afghanistan to provide medical services for humanitarian purposes. These young people, filled with passion and idealism, were trying to make a difference in this broken world.
The militants have already killed one of the men in the group. They are demanding that eight of their jailed fighters be released, or the remaining hostages will be killed.
According to blogger eugenecho, who translated an article from Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, the man killed is Pastor Bae Hyung Kyu. He was 42 years old
was the leader of this relief group. He was on staff as the pastor of the Young Adult ministries in Saemmul Presbyterian Church which he helped to plant nine years ago and which has since grown to nearly 4,000 people. Pastor Bae is survived by his wife and his daughter.
This is a deplorable evil act that is being committed. It is unlikely that Korea will accede to terrorists’ demands, unlike what the Philippines did sometime back when some of its nationals got kidnapped. Hence, the fate of the hostages is really uncertain.
I hope we can join millions of Koreans and people around the world in praying for this group’s safe release and passage back to Korea.