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.
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.