Roof Collapse Victim’s Family Donates Money for Scholarship

Just one day after 33 Korean Christian missionaries were attacked on a tour bus in Egypt, Korea suffered another tragedy. Nine students attending a welcoming ceremony for the Busan University of Foreign Studies were killed when the roof of the gymnasium where the event was being held collapsed. One victim, a devout Christian who studied Arabic, will be remembered through a scholarship her parents are establishing. But with the Egypt attack fresh on netizens’ minds, Christian missionaries in the Muslim world have again come under fire.

From Naver:

Family of Victim in University Roof Collapse Create Memorial Scholarship


Parents of 19 year-old roof collapse victim, Ko Hye-ryun, have expressed intent to establish a scholarship from the compensation funds received. Miss Ko, an Arabic studies major at the Busan University of Foreign Studies, died in the gymnasium collapse at Mauna Resort near Gyeongju.

The family of the late Ko Hye-ryun visited the University President’s Office around 5 p.m. on February 24th with the proposal.

As Ko’s father, Ko Kae-seok, delivered the sealed letter with the scholarship’s donation, he said, “Thinking of my daughter’s hopes and dreams, it was difficult to decide how to utilize these funds [the compensation]. So, after discussing with the family we decided it was right to use it for other students to pursue their dreams like our daughter.” He continued, “The Busan University of Foreign Studies fosters global talent and we think it best to do what we can to help others by offering this scholarship.”


According to her family, Miss Ko, a devout Christian, would usually say “I registered for Arabic studies in order to help spread the word of God worldwide.” Her parents requested that this scholarship be used to follow this goal.

Officials from the university reported that before meeting with the university president, the family received Miss Ko’s death certificate from the local city office. As they met with the president, they could not hold back their sobs.

Sometime next week, the parents and university are expected to sit down and solidify the details of how the funds are to be used in the scholarship.

The family also revealed its plans to not only create the scholarship but to use the remaining funds to assist children with education in countries who need it.

Jeong Hae-rin, President of the Busan University of Foreign Studies said, “We will see to it that the generous funds donated by Hye-ryun’s parents reflect the vision and dreams Miss Ko had in her life. These funds will be carefully used to help cultivate and foster our growing global talent of students.”

Comments from Naver:


They could’ve just used it for themselves…While the scholarship sounds great, I wish these grieving parents used all the money themselves.


Really great to hear.


What remarkable people. I admire them.


Incredible. Rest in peace.


I hope the university uses this money as the parents have seen fit and not on some other foolish idea.


Christian pastors take note. Albeit only believers, this is how truly religious people act.


This gave me goosebumps. Wow. What a difficult decision to make. I hope these grieving parents used the money for themselves but I respect the difficult decision they made.


In Islamic countries, missionary work is a serious crime. You cannot even enforce Islam in some Islamic countries.


This is really good to hear. But, in light of this, I’m a little worried those parents who didn’t make donations would be pressured by the press.


Spread Christianity into Islamic regions…?


Spread Christianity into the Muslim world…? The parents should’ve just used the money for themselves.


Certainly heartfelt, but with how Muslims handle missionaries there, these high hopes will crash.

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  • drinkitbitch

    So she set out to learn Arabic simply to go convert Muslims to Christianity?? HAHAHA wtf. How cute that she’s doing exactly what white missionaries did to Korea. Keep on spreading that imperialism~

    • bigmamat

      I don’t agree with proselytizing either but the death of these young people is a shame.

      • chucky3176

        It was disgusting greed that killed them. The building was only fit for storage because it was never designed to withstand heavy snow falls. And it was never designed to hold that many people inside. The resort owners turned what was essentially a storage building, into a gym. But they never thought what the consequences would be in cases of heavy snow. They also built it, just small enough in size, that it was under the size limit where by law, it would have required building inspectors to inspect the building. I thought this kind of stuff wouldn’t happen anymore after the 1990’s. It brings back the memories of Sampoong Department store fiasco.

        • bigmamat

          I see so there was negligence. Perhaps the building pre-dates the new codes. Removing the snow would have been an option too. I’m from the southeast so we don’t get the kind of snow they get in the north. I do know that even homeowners have to remove snow from their roofs so the structure won’t be compromised. We’ve had pretty crazy weather here in the southeast this year. Sunday it was 71 degrees and Monday morning it was snowing and sleeting. We had thunder and lightening during the snow storm two weeks ago. That was a first for me. I have no desire to live somewhere colder and wetter than were I already am. I’m trying to figure out how to get to a warmer place when I retire. Close enough to the beach so I can enjoy the ocean often far enough inland so my house won’t get blown away once a year. lol

        • Butsu

          Actually when I read this article this morning I was going to ask about this. We had an ice hockey training place back where I lived in Sweden with similar construction and it did collapse as well due to the snow.

    • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

      Missionaries will go and spread their faith. It is what they do. Some done it for what they believed in while others used it to their advantage.

      I know people do not agree with their actions, but ultimately it is their choice. They know the dangers. They take the risks. Missionaries have spread their faith but have also ended up dead. There have been cases where they have set up school that has helped the local community and cases where they run charity or health clinics. Of course, some of these have been abused (convert and you can get medical/educational help, etc.).

      The girl has passed away. Her parents want to honour her memory in some way. If it is so others can learn a language, I am ok with that.

  • commander

    Some people too much seize on the words of the deceased girl’s dream of proselytizing Christinaity in the Islam-dominated Middle East, it would be better to understand that the parental bid to immortalize her daughter in an endowed scholarship is to back young students with the passion for language learning and give an impetus to the pursuit of their dreams, which I guess are not confined to missionary activities.

  • chucky3176

    I noticed that there are so many Koreans with Arab majors. I always wondered about that, because it seemed strange. But this missionary thing certainly explains it now.

    • Zappa Frank

      proselytizing is forbidden in Arab countries, do they know that? do they want to risk their lives for those things? do they study anything about Arabs prisons?

      • Bryan Cheron

        Martyrdom is a virtue to many Christians.
        In fact, if I were Christian, I’d go out of my way to get killed doing God’s work as soon as possible; why waste time in this little practice world?

        • slr

          Jihad is not the same as Martyrdom. We don’t get any virgins nor do we believe in killing people. Of course, Christianity had a dark history (Inquisition) but it’s not as radical.

          • takasar1

            lol ‘virgins’? i’m guessing your deep-seated knowledge of islam also covers veil covered women, hate speeches and masses of arab terrorists, right?

            please…comparing christianity to islam is pointless. history shows that you guys attained even higher levels of stupidity, radicalism and backwardness than they did, only difference is that christianity slowly began to die out as modern, progressive thought began to develop, something christain powers couldn’t control as effectively as their muslim brethren. therefore, today we have a world where christianity has slowly tempered itself into conforming with modern ways of life, while islam maintains the same level of. radicalism/idiocy it had since the 10th century. somehow i don’t see you guys as much better off.

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            You don’t have much ideas about religion.

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            You have no idea about Jihad.

  • Such a waste on young souls to live for such purpose.

    Islam spread in Africa, Indonesia and even Korea without “missionaries”.. Historically mostly by traders. Normal people who affected people by their integrity.

    Try learning from that before coming to my country to attack my religion.

    • Ruaraidh

      Are you sure the Muslim invasions that toppled the Majapahit Empire didn’t have anything to do with Islamisation of Indonesia? Did Islam’s spread through Africa have nothing to do with the Umayad invasions of North Africa, the Jihads of the Sokoto Caliphate, or even the Omani conquests in East Africa? I’m not aware of any Muslim invasions of Korea, perhaps that explains why Islam makes up less than 0.1% of Korean religious makeup.

      • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

        Islam spread in some countries due to war and in others by trade. Your assertion that it only spread by war shows your bias against Islam. I do not know your opinion on other religions, so I will as of this moment not say you are biased against religion.

        Islam came to Indonesia, not by war but by trade. Wars between states and empires naturally happened throughout history. Royalty converts to Islam, then people under him and then the people of his kingdom. They have a war with another kingdom or empire, win and their ideals spread over the conquered. Seen this many times.

        In parts of Africa, Islam spread by war. In other parts it was again by trade or missionaries.

        • Ruaraidh

          So if the Islamic states had lost the wars in Indonesia the country would nevertheless still have a Muslim majority? I’m not biased against religion per se, I just haven’t encountered one yet which isn’t total nonsense.

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            You never know.

            It is rare for the victors to take on the system or religion of the losers but has happened.

            And I’ve not come across any system which isn’t total nonsense either. People’s morals are social constructs. We believe what we believe. That does change over time be at the end of the day, if you get down to the nitty gritty, there is no good or evil, right or wrong. Religion, political systems, law of the lands, are what they are. To control people and keep order. Otherwise we just have chaos and killings.

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