It looks like the criticism of Korean missionaries is continuing to grow:
Korea’s aggressive Christian missionaries, sowing almost as much irritation as they do the word of God, have been spreading across the Filipino island of Mindoro with more zeal than sensitivity, their critics say.
“One must understand that there is no single authority when it comes to the Korean missionaries,” says Thai economist Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
“Many churches compete with each other so to win public support,” he said in an email interview.
“For the Korean missionaries, the only way to win hearts and minds in this traditionally Catholic society is [to] combine the issue of religious faith and the standard of living… [I]nstead of promoting the value of their religion, the Korean missionaries use money to buy the devotion of the people. It is a corrupt practice to me because in buying the people’s faith, this can change the whole landscape of the local culture, belief and customs, which could be detrimental to the country as a whole,” he added.
The spread of Christianity a la Korea has dismayed many in Southeast Asia, Chachavalpongpun continued. “In the Philippines where the majority of the population commits to Catholicism, Korean missionaries try hard to break through the protective wall and attract the locals to their Protestant denominations, an endeavor viewed by local religious leaders with suspicion.”
Others are even more forceful in their denunciations. One of Korea’s most experienced NGO experts, with nearly 40 years experience but who didn’t want his name used, said he is “angry and fed up” at the way Korean missionaries conduct themselves in Southeast Asia, accusing them of being in competition with each other, especially over building churches and buying land.
The NGO worker said he had come across similar complaints in other parts of Asia directed at Koreans in the corporate world, especially from people working in factories managed by Koreans. He said people in grassroots communities are suffering and that there should be a debate about the way Koreans conduct themselves in other cultures that might be vulnerable and poor.
Critics say the problem lies in ignorance and a lack of cultural sensitivity. [Asia Sentinel]
Make sure to read the whole article because it is actually quite long and provides many more details about the Korean missionary activity in the Philippines and Southeast Asia in general. I don’t know much about Korean missionary activity in Southeast Asia so it was an insightful read.
If these missionaries are anything like the ones that went to Afghanistan and were kidnapped by the Taliban and then only freed after a multi-million dollar ransom was paid and two hostages executed, then they probably shouldn’t be there in the first place.