"If I acted on what I believed I, too, could have vandalized temples. When I consider those who commit such acts I think to myself that they have a much stronger faith than me."Link
-- Deacon Lee Bahn-Sung "a former Buddhist turned Christian", BBC-World (TV), Asia Today, May 21, 1999.
South Korea is notorious for the zeal with which converted Koreans turn against their former beliefs. Presbyterian and newly Christened Koreans of other denominations regularly burnt down the same shrines (Buddhist and native Korean) that they used to attend before their conversion. These well-documented cases often showed that the converts are incited to burn or otherwise damage their former temples, as a sign of their love for Christ and hatred for their former Korean religions which they are taught to believe is demonic.
In case such intolerance in the present-day is hard to believe, see images of some of the innumerable desecrations at Pictures from Buddhism under attack.
Buddhism under Siege in Korea 1982-1996
gives a brief overview of the recent history of Christianity in South Korea. It also shows how in recent times Korea has gained a larger Christian population through heavy and violent propaganda undermining Buddhism, and through destruction of Buddhist sacred sites and national treasures. Worst of all, Christians ended up controlling the government, its army and police force and persecuting the Korean population still practising their pre-Christian religions:
1982 May.During this time, many more temples are burnt to the ground and arson is thought to be the cause for all the cases. Often further investigations into the matter are ignored (on purpose).
A man by the name of My˘ng Chinhong organizes religious gatherings in Seoul to publicly denounce Buddhism. He erects a banner "Jesus Heaven, Buddhism Hell!" He claims to have once been a Buddhist monk who has "repented," though no records can be found to support the claim of his ordination. Using this claim, he puts up posters claiming: "A Dharma Hall is a hall of demons."
1983 March 1.
During a Christian revival meeting held on the occasion of Korean Independence Day observations, a woman falsely claims to have been the daughter of a famous Zen master and revered national independence hero, Paek Yongs˘ng. She makes statements denouncing Buddhism.
Red crucifixes are painted on priceless temple wall paintings at Muryangsa Temple and Ils˘nsa on Samgaksan Mountain outside Seoul. Dirt is smeared on the paintings and on a statue of the Buddha located outside one of the temples. A large ancient carving of the Buddha chiselled into stone is damaged with axe-like instruments.
Ignoring the pleas of Buddhist leaders, the Roman Catholic Church invites Pope John Paul II to visit South Korea to celebrate the bicentennial of the church in Korea. This event happens to fall during the annual national Buddha's Birthday holiday celebrations. Because it is the first ever visit of a Roman pontiff to South Korea, and because the Vatican announces that 93 Koreans and 10 French missionary martyrs will be beatified as saints during the visit, the visit becomes a major national event. It is the first time that a canonization ceremony is held outside of Rome and the largest number ever canonized at one time. This ceremony gives Korea the fourth largest number of Catholic saints in the world. When the Pope tours the country, in the days immediately preceding and during Buddha's Birthday, there are immense traffic jams which diminish attendance at Buddhist events in several key cities. Buddhist leaders protest the timing of the event as "disrespectful" and "in bad taste" because the Korean and Roman Catholic Churches schedule the mass beatification ceremonies to take place during Buddha's Birthday celebrations, a day sacred to Buddhists and a national holiday.
In an official Korean textbook, Buddhism is called "a fading religion."
Four major daily newspapers accept and publish advertisements which assert that the content of the Buddhist scriptures are "selfish" in intent.
A Protestant minister named Kim Jingyu publicly claims to have once been an ordained monk in the Chogye Order. Though there is no record of his ever having been a Buddhist monk, he hangs up banners which read "Why I Became a Protestant Minister," and organizes meetings to denounce the Buddhist faith.
1985 September.1985 October.
An individual by the name of Kim S˘nghwa organizes a series of mass gatherings to denounce Buddhism in the cities of Pusan, Taegu, Kwangju, and Taejon. (This individual and his wife Kim Mija regularly advertise their mission to convert the "25 million Buddhists of Korea" in the Christian Newspaper Kitokkyo Shinmun, July 1996).
An unidentified man disrupts a Dharma talk at the Nűngin Zen Center by driving nails into the tires of believers' automobiles parked outside. The perpetrator also pours corrosive chemicals into various car engines. An accomplice meanwhile uses portable amplification equipment to sing Gospel songs up at the Buddhist gathering, located on the third and fourth floors.
A fundamentalist Christian by the name of Yang Shinha from the Tamna Church on Chejudo Island is apprehended after setting fire to two temples - Kwanűmj˘ngsa and Taegaksa - completely burning them to the ground.
The same article continues to list more such occurrences of Christian terrorism, violence, vandalism and lies:
Several individuals enter Kupok Am Hermitageon Samgaksan Mountain on the outskirts of Seoul and destroy a stone lantern and stone pagoda, seriously damage a Ch'ils˘nggak (Big Dipper Hall), and paint red crucifixes on a large gilded Buddha statue.
Five to six individuals destroy a Buddha statue and paint red crucifixes on a large outdoor Ma-ae Buddha figure carved into the rock on Samgaksan Mountain on the outskirts of Seoul. In all, some 10 temples are severely damaged or desecrated in the days immediately before and after the national Buddha's Birthday holidays.
1989 April.1989 July 29.
The Hyangmok Committee of the Seoul City Government gathers military reserve forces under its control for a (taes˘nghoe) church service. Some of the members are compelled to attend even though they are not Christian.
The huge main Dharma Hall and a temple dormitory at Potasa Temple, Oksudong, S˘ngdonggu, Seoul are completely burned to the ground. A 23-year old follower of the Taes˘njillihoe (Great Conversion Truth Church) is arrested at the scene. Damage is estimated at $1.1 million according to the Chogye Order report.
Yun Ch'anggyu and Shim Y˘ngch'o, teachers at the Taes˘ng High School in K˘ch'ang, direct their students (many of them Buddhist) to recite Biblical passages and sing Christian hymns in class. In the same month, the Buddha statue of the Buddhist student club at Ch'˘ngju University is vandalized.
During this time, the Buddhist Broadcasting System radio station is utterly thrashed. The perpetrators used a Buddha statue to smash the station's equipment and also destroy all the station's recording and transmission equipment. The criminals are not arrested.
In all these cases, it is clear that there is no doubt in the least as to the ideology of the culprits.
Christian ministers continue to claim to have converted from having previously been Buddhist monks. And again, no evidence for this is given. Yet again, more Buddhist temples are burnt down. No one is apprehended. Often, even though eye-witnesses have seen arsonists scurrying off, the officials do not investigate and wrongfully declare the fires to have been started due to some electrical reasons. It is apparent that though a minority religion in Korea, Christianity had taken control of the governing forces in South Korea. The situation is very similar to what happened to Vietnam in the 50s.
More priceless Buddhist treasures continue to be vandalised, Buddhist temples and sacred halls burnt down (no different from how Moslems blew up the Buddha statues in Afghanistan). The Christianity that destroyed ancient Greece and Rome was now destroying distant cultures.
Once again, the cases for which the culprits are known follow. Christians had even taken over the South Korean army:
1991 November.Same Link
Military reserves stationed in Ky˘ngnam Province (many of them Buddhist) are forced to attend a Protestant revival meeting, presumably by a superior officer.
...P'yo Ch'ajong, a member of the Pedel Church in Pusan, publicly declares that the world-famous S˘kkuram Buddha statue is a subject of "idol-worship" and the product of "a heretical religion". He attempts to damage the priceless statue, but is stopped. The Sokkuram Buddha was declared a "World Cultural Treasure" by Unesco in 1995, and has twice been renovated and preserved with Unesco financial and technical involvement.
Colonel (battalion commander) Cho Py˘ngshik of the 17th Tank Battalion, claiming a lack of warehouse space, has the Dharma Hall on his base dismantled. The gilded statue of the Buddha is taken from the Hall, burned, and openly discarded behind the mountain. Taejon. The event makes national news.
...The Y˘ngdo Church in Pusan organizes to prevent a temple from being built beside them, claiming that they "cannot accept the construction of a place of idol worship" near them.
At Hyundai High School, all students are required to attend church services, and their attendance at these services is reflected in their school records.
Lee Yun-sun, a teacher at the Paegun Primary School in Uidong, Seoul, teaches the Christian Bible in his class and declares that any Buddhist children in the class are "followers of the Satan," and excludes them from certain class activities.
Professor Im In-hűi rejects the admission application of a Buddhist student. He claims he was only following the orders of the board chairman of Taej˘n Junior College Lee Py˘ng-ik.
The Rev. Yu Sűng-hwan of Yuchongni Church declares that Buddhism is "idol worship." He forcibly attempts to "convert" the abbot of Sudosa Temple to Christianity, even mentioning Korean President Kim Young-sam, a Presbyterian.
A fundamentalist Christian enters Mirűk Ch˘ngsa Temple in Kwangju and damages the Buddha statue and Dharma Hall.
A fundamentalist Christian by the name of Pak Oh-Sun is apprehended after entering and causing serious damage to five temples on Chejudo. He burns Buddha statues at the temples, in addition to other damage.
A Protestant minister is apprehended after painting a large red cross onto the altar painting behind the Buddha at Mu-űi sa Temple in Kangjin, Chollanamdo. He is released without charges. Later an unknown person carves a crucifix below the same Buddha image.
Students belonging to a fundamentalist Christian group begin an aggressive campaign of proselytizing on the campus of Dongguk University (Seoul), Korea's main Buddhist university. The students proselytize directly in front of a large statue of the Buddha - the campus symbol and central meeting-point - making anti-Buddhist statements and handing out Christian literature to ordained sangha members.
President Kim Young Sam attends services at a Protestant church located on the nation's central military base at Kyery˘ngsan Mountain. In an event which sends shock waves throughout Buddhist and Catholic circles in Korea, many troops based there are compelled to attend the service in order to create the appearance of a larger number of Protestant troops. (Many of the troops are not Protestant Christians, and many are not even Christian.) Moreover, people attending services at a nearby temple and Catholic church are placed under virtual "house arrest," their religious sanctuaries being encircled with troops while the President makes what is deemed a "preferential" visit to the Protestant chapel. ...
In effect, the Christian-headed government in South Korea started taking control of the mostly non-Christian population. It's a case of history repeating itself: South Korea under Protestantism (fundamental and mainstream) in the last decades, was turning out to be just like Vietnam under Catholicism in the 50s. If the Protestants weren't there, the Catholics under the Vatican, waiting in the wings, would be doing the same in Korea.
1996.This effectively heralded that the capital and therefore the nation of South Korea must now be regarded as a Christian nation, in spite of its mainly non-Christian population.
The long-awaited tentative plans related to the new Education Law are announced by the government's Education Reform Committee. The plans are based on the educational system of the Renewal Church of Christ, and include plans to establish (with government money) a special graduate school for the education and training of Christian ministers. Buddhists lodge strong protests, which are initially ignored. Eventually the Committee agrees to restate their objectives at a later date.
The W˘nmi ward office of Puch'on city near Seoul sends official letters to several Buddhist kindergartens, primary schools, and other Buddhist organizations and temples. Language in the letters beseeches them to find "the peace of God and the comfort of Jesus Christ".The swastika - for centuries a symbol of good fortune throughout Asia, and also a Buddhist symbol of the same - is replaced on many flagpoles in Seoul with crucifixes.
1996.In the past Christianity cultivated in its followers a hatred for knowledge and encouraged illiteracy, who despised education and science as being pagan. In that age, Christians destroyed schools to undermine paganism and enforce Christianity. Today Christians are using school to impose their religion on vulnerable students.
A large red crucifix is painted in a concrete shelter used by Buddhist monks for meditation, located one hundred meters above Hwagyesa Temple on Samgaksan Mountain on the outskirts of Seoul.
A school teacher by the name of "Lee" at Songwu Primary School in P'och'˘n, Ky˘nggi Province, urges students to attend church services as part of their lessons. She forces them to sing certain Christian hymns in class to confirm their attendance, and does other "missionary work" in her capacity as schoolteacher.
...It is strange indeed that even with so many police and military men watching over the temple, an arsonist should have succeeded in doing something that even Houdini would have failed. A miracle from Jesus, Virgin Mary, Yahweh? Or had the police and armed forces become predominantly Christian (like in 50s Vietnam) and/or operating under control of Christian superiors? Occam's Razor indicates the latter possibilities to be more likely. Besides, as the Korean government and army had become increasingly Christian, it is likely the same held true for their police force.
1996 May 12.
Arsonists attack the main Buddha statue in the Taej˘kkwangj˘n at Hwagyesa Temple in Seoul for the second time. A lit candle is placed in a box of papers and wisk brooms under the main altar. The fire is quickly extinguished by a passing monk. At the time, more than 30 police and army are patrolling the temple in plainclothes in broad daylight, but fail to apprehend the assailant. (2nd attack on Hwagyesa)
1996 May 14.
Two days later, again with over 30 police and military patrolling the temple, a massive fire is set beneath the main Buddha statue in the Taej˘kkwangj˘n at Hwagyesa Temple in Seoul for the third time.
Superb altar paintings, ornate woodcarvings and traditional wall paintings are lost. Damage estimated at about $775,000 according to the police.
(3rd attack, 1 building seriously damaged).
1996 May.Same Link
Rev. Pae S˘ng-ho, a Protestant minister, enters the main Buddha Hall at Ch'˘ngryongsa Temple in Chinhae on the southern coast of the peninsula. He swings a microphone over his head like a bolo, smashing the main Buddha statue and damaging beyond repair the altar paintings hanging behind the main altar. Witnesses who apprehend him hear him shouting abusive statements about "idol worship" and that "now [he] will go to heaven for destroying these craven images." Though taken into custody by police, the minister is released within hours with no charges filed by the local authorities. Damage to the Dharma Hall is extensive.
Buddhism under Siege in Korea, Chronology of Events January 1997-December 1998
documents further events, which continued in the same vein as before. More "mysterious" temple burnings and desecrations. It also includes the run-up to how the government (now apparently wholly-Christian controlled) decided that Sunday was the day of rest and no exams could be held then. Except that this day is not a day of rest in Korean Buddhism or other Korean religions. The article also indicates how numerous members in the police force and army are actually Christian, which explains why nothing was done to properly investigate charges. More:
June 1997.There does not appear to be any misunderstanding. It was meant to be derogatory to Buddhism since Christianity has always considered it a pagan, and therefore demonic, religion. Just like it considered all pre-Christian religions throughout history.
Human feces were scattered around the Dharma Hall in the Special Forces School under the Ranger-commando Force. Candidates for Noncommissioned officers who tried to attend dharma meeting had to write a letter of self-criticism. It was revealed that the officer in command forced the candidates without religion to believe in Christianity and applied unspoken pressure on Buddhist candidates. Buddhists organized Countermeasure Committee against Oppression of Buddhism and protested strongly. Defense Ministry issued an apology under the name of its minister.
October 23, 1997.
Inchn Union of Christianity (Inchn Kidokkyo chongyonhap) held a prayer service at Inchn gymnasium attended by 5,000 ministers and lay followers demanding removal of the Buddha statue in Inchon Detention House. In an effort to press their demand, they make a protest visit to the Detention House after the service.
November 3, 1997.November 1997.
Munhwa Broadcasting Company (MBC) airs a program on monk Yongsan at PD Notebook (PD Suchop) which was derogatory against Buddhism.
Presidential candidate Hoi-chang Lee printed "an apostate monk mask" in his publicity leaflet as the symbol of deceit and lie. Even though this can provide enough ground for misunderstanding, the fact that they did not thoroughly check the leaflet is the indication of their lack of understanding of or prejudice against Buddhism.
...Everyone knows that the symbol of satan is the goat. Alternatively it's the snake. And the pig. Yet no one's ever heard that it was the Asian dragon, so far away from the middle-east were Christianity was born and where no one had known of (Asian) dragons before.
February 16, 1998.
Marine Corps Commandant Tobong Chon says that he would make the Marine Corps soldiers of Christ at a ground-breaking ceremony of a church for the Second Division of the Marine Corps. Buddhists made a strong protest against the incident. Marine Corps Commandant sends a letter of explanation stating that the incident was found groundless through self investigation under the directives of the Chief of Naval Operations (March 13, 1998) and promises to prevent any recurrences of the kind (March 14, 1998).
Jae-sop Lee, head Minister of Joong-ang Holiness Church (Joong-ang Songgyol Kyohoe) in Taejon distributes leaflets denouncing Buddhism. Upon a protest by Buddhists, Minister Lee visits the Buddhist Association in Taejon and promise to run an apology statement in the daily newspaper.
The government revokes its intention to engrave a dragon image on the handle of National Seal due to a strong protest by Korean Christians. Christians assert the "animal symbolizes Satan" and should not be used in an image representing our nation.
Actually, the real answer is that Satan is symbolised by whatever creatures or figures are sacred to the native religion(s) of the region where Christianity is trying to take over. In ancient Greece and Rome it became the goat, from Ireland to western Asia it was the snake, in the middle-east it was the pig. And in farthest Asia, it has today of course become the lucky dragon.
May 16, 1998.This is another commonly employed Christian tactic: arrest or defame important religious leaders of non-Christian religions (without any real evidence, or with manufactured evidence) to demoralise adherents of those religions. See similar recent cases in India and Sri Lanka. (If defamation fails, Christians try to assassinate non-Christian religious leaders.)
Police investigator following a tip without evidence about organized gangsters barge into a dharma hall where a special ritual is in progress, put handcuffs on a monk and take him to the police station without an arrest warrant using violent language in front of the worshippers. This case is now on trial.
Apparently, Christians still believe this will disillusion the unsaved followers who would then presumably consider Christianity as an option. See also the murder of Hypatia. Other cases in history include the murder of 'heretic' bishops to prevent their views from being aired in the early Church Councils.
Notice how perpetrators of vandalism againts Buddhist shrines and sacred national treasures are released and even how such cases are never properly investigated. Yet, without a warrant and without evidence, the converted police force feels free to arrest non-Christian religious leaders.
June 3, 1998.Yet another age-old Christian tactic: destruction of pre-Christian places of worship to then build (or convert it into) a church there instead. Similar cases also occurred in Christianity's history in Asia, see for example India.
A certain Kim breaks into the Main Dharma Hall of Podok-sa in Pangbae-dong and tries to destroy the Buddha triad. He is arrested but is later released without being charged due to the indifferent attitude of the Pangbae Policebox. The Kim had threatened arson attack against the temple several times during the past month. Pangbae Policebox rearrest the suspect who was found to be a Christian, upon strong demand by the temple.
Damage traces indicate that someone smashed a door of the dharma hall and tries to set fire to Hyangnim-sa, Yangchon-gu, Seoul. Temple residents catch two suspicious people including a wife of a minister who was wandering around the dharma hall and reported them to the police. Police find no evidence and they are released.
June 26, 1998.
Su-jin Kim, a Christian, breaks into Wonmyong Sonwon (Zen Center) in Cheju Island, decapitates 750 granite Buddha statues and destroys a gilt bronze Buddha triad, gold-plated jade Buddha and many other Buddhist items. He is caught by people at the temple while breaking windows of the living quarters. Kim confesses at the police that he destroyed Buddha statues in order to convert the temple to a church.
June 27, 1998.Why do non-Christians accept apologies when such events happen repeatedly both to themselves and to people of other countries and throughout history; and when such things were perpetrated on purpose?
Thirty Christian naval men from the First Division of the Marine Corps missionize in front of Seoul Railroad Station after attending a spiritual retreat. Only three months before the Chief of Naval Operations promises to prevent recurrences of such incidents.
July 1, 1998.
Songsun Kim, ward chief of Sonpa-gu district and Chong-shik Chang, ward chief of Kangbuk-ku district are sworn in with their hands on a Christian Bible, which evoked public criticism. Kim apologizes later. Chang refuses at first but apologizes later when repeatedly demanded by Buddhists.
July 16, 1998.The reform alluded to is the slow Christianisation of what was originally non-Christian South Korea.
Leader of the Grand New Party Hwa-gap Han stirs up trouble when he states, "if President Kim's reform fails, the future of the country will be grim. This government was given to us by God" in an interview with Sisa Journal dated July 16.
Curious affliction, it seems to be common among Christians, seeing as how Christianity gives rise to many such individuals.
July 30, 1998.August 25, 1998.
Newsmaker which is published by Kyonghyang Daily uses an expression derogatory to the ordained clergy and Buddhism in an article, "Money Loving Elite Worldly Desires Gone Astray" and "Safe in hell, no keys", written by the reporter Kil-gon Chong. "Once a monk acquires the taste of meat, not even a fly in the dharma hall will be spared".
Two Buddha statues in Pohyonsa Temple in Chongju City are damaged by a Mr. Oh Pyong-gak, a member of a local church. He had a psychiatric history.
August 29, 1998.That apparently makes it all better.
Four policemen from Public Security Division of Seoul Metropolitan Police rough up Ven. Song Kwang at the entrance of Chogyesa Temple, the main headquarters temple of the order in Seoul at 9:30 am. The police had been blocking the driveway of the temple and he asked them to step aside so he could drive in and park. They hit him and used abusive language in response. Outraged lay people struggled with the police and a few people received injuries. The police escaped the scene when the protest by lay people escalated. Immediately after the incident, Police Chief Kim, Yonghwa and Kim, Hongjun, Director of the Public Security Division visit Chogyesa to make formal apology and to promise that police involved in the incident will be disciplined. The four perpetrators of the violence visited Chogyesa later that afternoon and apologized to the victim and laypeople involved and performed many prostrations in the temple.
Christians often mistreat and even murder non-Christian religious leaders and popular non-Christians, possibly to get rid of the competition.
Unsurprisingly, some Korean Church councils then apologised and "felt ashamed" for the misconduct of "some Christians" (probably condemning other Christians whilst hiding themselves under the label of "True Christians") for the past "months", though the violence had been happening for nearly 2 decades:
September 4, 1998.This was a one-way tension, created by Christians towards the Buddhists and other Korean religions. In most non-Christian countries, when a significant percentage of the population has been converted to Christianity, the vandalism and violence decreases somewhat, after which the Christian population uses legislation and government persecution to discriminate against the remaining non-Christian population and enforce Christianity upon them. At that point, Christians begin to apologise (superficially) for their actions, in order to still be considered a religion deserving of tolerance. Often this is also the time when they start rewriting the history of the conversion of the country and blur what really happened.
Korean National Council of Churches (KNCC) responds sympathetically to destructive actions of some Christians against Buddhist shrines in previous months. There is a spectrum of reactions by Korean churches to the KNCC announcement as can be seen in the following news report. ... The KNCC's announcement has eased the tension between Christians and Buddhists.
Koreans of pre-Christian religions seem to be willing to think well of everyone and forgive and forget very fast. They ought to learn from the history of Christianity and from their own sufferings. The minority indigenous Korean traditions were also attacked by the usual Christian hatred shown to everyone. But because Buddhism is the religion professed by the majority in South Korea, it attracted most of Christianity's destructive actions.
However, a Christian non-denominational weekly newspaper published by the Rev. Kim Chul-young ran articles justifying vandalism of Buddhist property.Finally, here we see the True Christianity, known throughout history. They don't pretend that destroying other people's sacred sites, statues and treasures is "un-Christian" but insist that it is Christian and is mandated by the Bible itself (which, of course it is). No pretence, but the truth, for once. More True Christianity:
The newspaper, Hanil-nara (Heavenly Kingdom), published on its front page a photograph of a decapitated Buddhist statue, with the caption from the Old Testament's Book of Judges urging the destruction of religious idols.
A page-two editorial, entitled "All religious idols should be eliminated," said, "The Buddhist community's criticism of the government over these incidents is unfair."Another deception. This time it's that usual tale of the Biblical God protecting Christians whilst unbelieving heathens are drowned or die of some other horrid natural cause dubbed as the Wrath of God. Going by the Bible, such genocide would be very much in the line of God. However, these myths of miraculous Christian survival versus suffering of non-Christians are nearly always that: myths. On the few remaining occasions, the events end up being the outcome of the purely logical. For example, when a Church is situated high up on a mountain and is so is kept safe from a flood, whilst a pagan shrine situated at sea level near the waterside is swept away. Yet Christians tend to view such instances as miracles, rather than resorting to common sense.
The editorial added, "The Buddhists' criticism of former President Kim Young-sam for holding Christian religious services in the Blue House led him to stop; and this refusal to allow the President to pray resulted in disasters.
"The recent flooding in Korea struck hardest those areas in which there were many Buddhist statues. There was no flooding on Cheju Island, where a Christian destroyed many Buddhist statues this summer."In addition, the editorial said that "if people do not respect the one God, they will be subject to disasters." The editorial concluded that "it is unfortunate that it is illegal to destroy Buddhist statues."
But Christians do acknowledge other belief systems: they acknowledge that they are demonic and ought to be destroyed. These methodists should stop pretending: it is not cultural insensitivity, it is Christian intolerance, rooted in the Bible. But at least they admit having vandalised, desecrated and destroyed Buddhist as well as Korean Shamanistic sites and artefacts, including Shamanistic totems.
Earlier, Kidok Shinmun (Christianity Newspaper) said, "Buddhists are overreacting to these incidents." The newpaper printed a cartoon and articles suggesting that Buddhists were overly sensitive."But another newspaper, Kidokkyo Shinmun (Christian Newspaper), a Presbyterian publication, expressed deep concern about conflict with other religions and dedicated a series of articles to the subject.
It said that because of certain incidents - including "continuous vandalism, Christians' open support for Kim Young-sam in 1992, Christians' destruction of totems at Yonsei University and Seoul's Noryang-jin area, and their opposition to building a memorial to Korea's mythical founder, Tangun" - that the public has criticized Christians for extremism. This criticism, it said, "has resulted from Christians' cultural insensitivity and failure to acknowledge other belief systems."
However, that "Tangun" mentioned as the Korean founder is probably not mythical to some (possibly many) Koreans, so why insert an insult in this apology? Especially since myths have never stopped Christians.
The Christian pattern of destroying and then lamely apologizing, thus requiring little else on their behalf, has become tiresomely obvious throughout the course of this overview of South Korea's history under Christian oppression in recent decades.
After having once more appeased the overly trusting Korean Buddhists and Korean adherents of other indigenous religions with these pseudo apologies the Christian desecrations and destructions of Buddhist sites nevertheless continued:
September 14-16, 1998.Thus in South Korea, Christian hatred and intolerance of other religions - ones that are actually indigenous to the country to boot - have become institutionalised. The government, including the police, army and now even National Park Authorities are in on it, having been taken over by Christians. In the past it was the violent, merciless Christianisation (and deculturisation) of Rome, Greece and Europe and now it's the turn of the rest of the world including Korea. The methods have not changed. It's violent and destructive as always. In short, very Christian.
The Daily Sports Newspaper (Ilgan Sports) prints a cartoon series called Toshi-uhon with a sorcerer who tries to kill someone by using the mantra "Om mani padme hum" as an incantation for three days in a row from September 14 through 16. "Om mani padme hum" is frequently recited Buddhist mantra. Buddhists are shocked that this mantra was quoted as a curse to kill people. The newspaper prints a statement of apology on September 25 due to a strong protest by Buddhists.
November 3-11, 1998.
The faces of Buddha statues and paintings in seven temples in Chungchongbukto are attacked and severely damaged by razor. Witnesses indicate that a car with license plates from another region was spotted in the temple precincts.
November 27, 1998
Six Buddha statues are found severely damaged outside of Chongsu Am Temple in Pusan. They are decapitated, with damaged noses, and human feces are smeared all over them. Police assume the crime was perpetrated by 2-3 people wielding implements judged by the severity of the damage.
December 15, 1998
A Kwanum statue carved on a rock in Pukhnsan National Park on the hiking route between Hwagyesa Temple and Sansong Am (both of which suffered serious arson attacks in 1996) is damaged by public employees of the Suyu Branch Office of the National Park Authority. They were ordered to remove an artifact of "folk belief." After investigating the case, the National Park Authority delivers an official letter of apology to the Chogye Order Headquarters and decides to provide training for NPA employees on Buddhism and national culture.
But aren't the Koreans sick of apologies already? The latest one has apparently appeased the adherents of pre-Christian Korean religions, in spite of the destruction of this presumably sacred artefact of "folk belief". The Christian objective has been achieved: destruction of the Kwanum statue with nary a protest and with the insincere apology accepted. It must be concluded that Christians can terrorise with impunity in Korea.
- The complete pages of the site from which material was excerpted and used above can be found at:
- Their Christian intolerance has now spread to Australia, as witnessed in the recent case of a Korean Presbyterian Church:
Three church leaders jailed for bashing woman - Sydney Morning Herald, August 26, 2005
Three leaders at a Korean church in Sydney's north have been jailed over the bashing of a female church member who did not attend regular services
- A recent Korean Christian murder/exorcism case in New Zealand:
Exorcist pastor to have manslaughter case heard again - April 8, 2006
A Korean pastor jailed for manslaughter after a woman died during an exorcism has won a retrial. Yong Bum Lee was sentenced to six years imprisonment in 2001 for causing the death of Keum Ok Lee, 37, during an exorcism to expel demons from her body. Lee did not take part in the trial or have a lawyer represent him, because he said God told him not to.