Pope calls for end to kidnappings in South Korea


At the conclusion of the recitation of yesterday’s Angelus at Castelgandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI made a special appeal for the 22 South Koreans kidnapped by Taliban militants in Afghanistan, calling for an end to such kidnappings.

“The practice by armed groups of manipulating innocent persons for promoting their own goals is becoming widespread,” the Pontiff said.  “These are grave violations of human dignity, which go against every elementary norm of civilization and rights and gravely offend the divine law. I make my plea so that the authors of such criminal acts desist from the evil done and return their victims unharmed,” he added.

On July 19, a group of 23 South Korean missionaries were kidnapped by Taliban rebels south of the Kabul.  On July 25 one of the missionaries, 42 year-old protestant pastor Bae Hyung-kyu, was shot. His body was later found with ten gunshot wounds. While they are referred to as missionaries, their church insists that they were only doing medical work and teaching English.

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