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Hoping that what has happened in South Korea might give relief to our Brothers!


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I heard on NPR yestereday that the female President of South Korea was impeached.  The Higher Court upheld a decision made by a lower court in South Korea to impeach her immediately.  She was  the first female president of South Korea and also the first President to be impeached.  She is the grand daughter of a former South Korean president who apparently helped out the economy there quite a bit (in the 60's and 70's) but toward the end of his presidency because more of a dictator.  I thought it was interesting to note that she was also a General in the Military before becoming President, which might be why our brothers our being imprisoned for refusing military duty and not offered civilian duty instead.  They have to hold a new election in 60 days for a new President - let's pray to Jehovah that the new President will change the laws so that our young, faithful brothers and their families no longer have to suffer these unjust prison sentences.

 

All I could think of when I heard this story was how  we've been told in our publications that during trials or bans/persecution, sometimes Jehovah's allows it to run it's course and other times he will simply remove the official in authority that is impeding his will!!! Perhaps in this case, it is the later!  I guess we will have to wait and see.

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There have been some favorable sentences in South Korea recently, so I too hope the change in government will help.

 

Actually, JWs are not persecuted in South Korea in any way, our work is legal and the government doesn't interfere in our activities. The problem is military service and military training at schools.

 

While compulsory military service is no longer a problem in most of the civilized world, the situation is South Korea is different because it is at war with North Korea. Although the situation is of tense watch most of the time, hostilities may break out at any moment, and at times they do. When I visited Seoul a couple years ago I was impressed to see cabinets with gas masks in every subway station. Sometimes there are drills in the street: Sirens give an alarm and everybody runs for refuge. When visiting the DMZ in the border with North Korea you need to sign a paper taking all responsibility in case there there's fighting while you are there and you are killed or injured.

 

Remember how the brothers were treated in the US during the Second World War due to war hysteria. In times of peace it's easy to talk about conscience objection, but in a state of war people feel differently, and those who refuse to serve in the military can easily be viewed as traitors.

 

In any case, all things are possible with Jehovah and we keep praying for our Korean brothers. :)

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With the Korean brothers,  one of the most trying circumstances with a criminal conviction on ones record is finding employment after their release from prison.  This will change if the laws change and allow the brothers to do alternative service.

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