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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Taliban Abducts South Korean Missions Team

You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address www.www.persecution.org. Contact Jeremy Sewall, Policy Analyst, 1-800-ICC (422)-5441, [email protected].

(July 20, 2007) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.www.persecution.org has just learned that yesterday Taliban insurgents abducted about 20 South Korean Christians who were on an evangelical mission to Afghanistan . The young Korean evangelists were sent to Afghanistan from the Saem-Mul Protestant Community Church near Seoul, South Korea on July 13, 2007 and were scheduled to return to Korea on July 23, 2007.

They were traveling on a charter bus from Kandahar to the capital Kabul , when the armed insurgents stopped the bus 110 miles (175 km) south of Kabul in the Qarabagh district of the Ghazni province. A local Taliban commander named Mohammad Sharif has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Currently, the Korean embassy has launched a search operation and has begun negotiations with the Taliban kidnappers who have demanded the release of Taliban prisoners in Afghan prisons.

ICC Policy Analyst for South Asia , Jeremy Sewall, said, “This immediately made me think of when the Taliban kidnapped American missionaries Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry in 2001 and held them in harsh prisons for three months. In fact, it was in the very same area of Afghanistan that these two kidnappings happened. While Mercer and Curry’s story ended happily, it was only because anti-Taliban forces attacked the prison. Under the Taliban, it is absolutely illegal to preach Christianity. This courageous South Korean missions team is going to experience the ultimate test of their faith. I want to make an urgent appeal to all concerned parties to pray for this missions team. Pray that God would do a miracle and permit them to be released without the use of force.”