23 Korean Christians kidnapped by Taliban in Afghanistan

By July 24, 2007

(MNN) — The Taliban has reportedly extended its deadline to Tuesday evening in
a life or death ransom for 23 South Korean hostages seized last week in Afghanistan. 

Oh Soo-In, a senior administrator at the Sammul Protestant
Community Church, the sending church, explained the abductees had been on a
short-term medical missions trip in Afghanistan since Friday, July 13. They
were due to return to South
Korea yesterday.

The 23, including 18 women, were working at an aid
organization in Kandahar.
Most of the Koreans are in their 20s and 30s, and include nurses and English

Voice of the Martyrs' Canada's
Glenn Penner says the militants threatened to execute the South Korean hostages
if the government didn't free imprisoned insurgents and withdraw its 200
soldiers from Afghanistan.

Given the conditions, there were questions as to whether or
not the group was targeted because of its national affiliation, or because the
team was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. "It's not safe for
NGOs period, and certainly not for Christian ones, particularly.  But I'm quite certain that they were not
specifically targeted because they were Christians. I am concerned, however
that the way that they are treated may differ when it is discovered that they
are specifically, Christian missionaries."

The South Korean embassy says a delegation of Korean
diplomats is aiding the negotiations.  Penner
says this time is crucial for the hostages. 
They're urging prayer.  

"Pray for wisdom for the South Korean government
as they are negotiating with the Taliban at this time. Pray for the safety of
these missionaries.  Their organization
has made it very clear that they were not involved in evangelistic work. Having
said all that, pray that they will be faithful witnesses to Christ, in love and



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