By JOHN BUTLER
People always seem to harp back to 2000 years ago, to try to make a defence for the GB.
Different times, different situations.
Judas allowed himself to be misled by the devil, but it also seems it was necessary that the betrayer came from within.
Maybe you should have quoted this bit as well. "Yet he gets kicked out by the other members of the GB for being an apostate."
Because it seems Raymond Franz didn't betray God or Jesus Christ.
Knowledge of such things is way over my head of course, so I don't know who was right in God's viewpoint.
But it does give a person reason to distrust the GB if RF wasn't found guilty of any real wrongdoing.
By Guest Nicole
Born to a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baek Jong-keon realized the price of his faith in South Korea at an early age.Â
His father had gone to jail for refusing to take up arms, and his three older brothers chose the same path when the time came for them to serve their mandatory military service.Â
Baek Jong-keon works as an assistant at a law firm in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Bak Se-hwan/The Korea Herald
In a country where all able-bodied men are required to serve in the military to defend against North KoreaÂ’s 1.2 million-strong armed forces, it seemed like a bleak future awaited him, too.Â
Â“I grew up watching my father -- and my three brothers -- go to jail for objecting to the mandatory military service. It was hard to overcome the fear and the pain as a kid,Â” said Baek, 33, in an interview with The Korea Herald.Â
Â“ThatÂ’s why I wanted to become a lawyer -- to change the situation.Â”Â
Baek also chose the life of a conscientious objector in South Korea -- or the life of a convicted Â“draft dodger.Â” He was sentenced to 18 months in jail by the Supreme Court in 2016.Â
He served his prison term and was released in May this year. The Korean Bar Association suspended his lawyerÂ’s license for five years, a possibility that he had known since he was preparing for the bar exam.Â
All this, however, does not mean Baek is accepting things as they are. Now working as an assistant at a small law firm, he is fighting to regain his license. He has been rejected once, but is still fighting.Â
He is also fighting for the sake of other conscientious objectors to have the government and society recognize their freedom of conscience and offer them alternative ways to serve the country.Â
Â“Roughly 400 young conscientious objectors are currently in jail. I think that we should seriously consider giving them alternative forms of military service instead of just treating them as outlaws,Â” he said.Â
Since 2013, nearly 2,500 people were prosecuted for failing to enlist in the military, according to data from the Military Manpower Administration. The military service law mandates a prison sentence of up to three years for men who avoid the draft.Â
A majority of the 2,500 are JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, who object to any form of militarism. Of the total, 15 are unreligious, objecting conscription based on their personal beliefs and the principles of Â“no violenceÂ” and Â“no war.Â”Â
But there are growing signs that the judicial system may be easing its stance on conscientious objectors. This year alone,Â 40 acquittals were made at lower courts for conscientious objectors, five times more than in 2016, reflecting a possible change in legal perceptions.Â
Although no final decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the acquittals has been made yet, the repeated rulings in favor of the objectors are pressing the government to react.
The Constitutional Court is currently reviewing the constitutionality of the conscription law, with several complaints filed regarding conscientious objection.
During his confirmation hearing at the National Assembly last month, new Constitutional Court chief Lee Jin-sung hinted at the need to change the long-entrenched judicial practice against conscientious objection.Â
Â“We should take the situation seriously where people endure being sent to prison for their adherence to their conscience,Â” Lee said.Â
Views on conscientious objection seem to be changing as well.
According to a survey by the National Human Rights Commission, 46.1 percent of people said last year the government should allow conscientious objection, up 12.8 percentage points from 33.3 percent in a 2011 poll.Â
Â“The answer is simple,Â” Baek said. Â“We just have to adopt legislation that allows conscientious objectors to carry out an appropriate alternative service of a length comparable to that of military service.Â”Â
Three bills are pending at the National Assembly seeking to add alternative options to the mandatory military service system.Â
Critics argue it is premature to adopt an alternative service program, especially amid ongoing threats from North Korea. It would also affect the morale of conscripted soldiers to see those citing faith -- which is hard to prove -- being allowed to avoid the tough life in barracks.Â
Â“We do not ask for special treatment,Â” Baek said.Â
Â“Some people wrongly assume that we would be exempted from the national duty mandated to all male citizens of South Korea once the court rules in favor of conscientious objection.
Â“But we are willing to serve our country once an alternative service for objectors is introduced. That will allow us to contribute to the community in a way that does not conflict with our conscience, for instance, in the areas of public health, social welfare, the environment and labor,Â” Baek added.Â
He also believes that religious conscientious objectors have an important role to play.Â
Â“It is our part not to give up and to keep hope alive. I hope they do not resign themselves to be sent to jail, but keep appealing against the prison term to bring about change,Â” Baek said.Â
By Bak Se-hwan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Guest Nicole
Jeong Chun-guk, who served the longest time in Korea for conscientious objection, seven years, is now a farmer. [KIM SEONG-TAE]
For 69-year-old Jeong Chun-guk, whose seven years and 10 months in jail is still the longest time ever served by a conscientious objector to mandatory military service in Korea, the struggle for peace has finally led him to a tranquil plot of land in Geumsan County, South Chungcheong, where he can focus on farming and his faith.
Â“I believed that it was more important to spread the new world I discovered within the Bible,Â” he says of his decision not to serve in the military. He had followed his motherÂ’s footsteps, becoming a JehovahÂ’s Witness when he was a freshman studying medicine at Chungnam National University in Daejeon.Â
JehovahÂ’s Witnesses have traditionally held a view that worship should be only to the Â“Kingdom of God,Â” therefore banning allegiance or participation in any national government or politics among their faithful. Though taught to obey the laws of where they inhabit, JehovahÂ’s Witnesses have been known to disobey the laws that conflict with their doctrines, such as denying blood transfusion and refusing to serve military duties.Â
His father, a prison officer, was at a loss for words upon hearing that Jeong had dropped out of school after only one semester.Â
Â“The watchtower my father climbed with his lunch box seemed like a great dungeon from some novel,Â” he says. Â“I never imagined that I would live in such a place.Â”Â
When Jeong turned 21 in 1969, he was incarcerated for 10 months, at the height of anti-communist sentiment following the Blue House raid on Jan. 21, 1968, when North Korean commandos attempted to assassinate then-President Park Chung-hee.Â
After the October Restoration of 1972, in which Park assumed dictatorial powers, conscientious objectors and their families were publicly shamed and the penalty was sharply increased with amendments to the Military Service Law and the new Special Acts for Violation of Military Service Law.Â
At 26, Jeong received another draft notice and arrest warrant. He sent Daejeon District court a seven-page appeal, but the appeal judge sentenced him to three years in prison, twice the initial sentencing.Â
Prison guards, he came to learn, were particularly brutal towards JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. Â“Fearing that JehovahÂ’s Witnesses might proselytize, they did not make us work. Instead we were forced to sit down for the whole day. The only times we could stand up were during our three meals and 15-minute exercise sessions,Â” says Jeong. Â“We prayed so that we may work standing.Â”Â
In those days, the Military Service Law did not allow exemptions from service until three years of penal labor had been served. The Supreme Court deemed it legal to repeat this punishment every time military service was declined, so Jeong was sentenced again in 1974.Â
Upon completing his second sentence at 29, he asked the Military Manpower Administration why a university dropout like himself was being drafted.Â
The Military Service Law back then considered candidates eligible for active duty from the time they graduated high school until the age of 28. But for undergraduates, this was extended to 30.Â
The administration replied that even freshman dropouts were considered undergraduates.Â
One day in February 1977, as he was waiting to finally go home, Jeong was taken to the 32nd Infantry Division.Â
He received another four years in jail from the military court on the conviction of Â“disobeying orders.Â” Â“I thought this was the end,Â” says Jeong, Â“I remember crying at the sight of my motherÂ’s tear-filled eyes.Â”Â
His punishment ended in 1981 at the age of 33.Â
Â“It was strange to see no one stalking me from behind as I walked home,Â” he says.Â
Recently, a lawyer advised him to re-open his case, but Jeon has decided against this. Â“ItÂ’s not impossible to empathize with those who try to protect society by policing those who step out of line,Â” he says, Â“even if they have the strangest reasons.Â”Â
BY MOON HYEON-KYUNG [email@example.com]
By Guest Nicole
The U.S. Commission in International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) sounded the alarm about the "worsening" state of affairs for religious freedom across the globe in its report for this year, the Christian News Network reported.
The report, released on Wednesday last week, urges the U.S. Department of State to designate 16 more nations as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC), citing particular instances in those countries that merited their inclusion in the list.
"Overall, the Commission has concluded that the state of affairs for international religious freedom is worsening in both the depth and breadth of violations," said USCIRF Chairman Thomas Reese in a statement.
"The blatant assaults have become so frightening—attempted genocide, the slaughter of innocents, and wholesale destruction of places of worship—that less egregious abuses go unnoticed or at least unappreciated," he pointed out.
Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, a USCIRF member, said during a panel discussion on Wednesday in Washington D.C. that the commission "specifically name names so that those stories are lifted and people gain the strength that they need in order to continue fighting for their faith," CBN News reported.
The commission urged the State Department to designate six nations—Russia, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, and Vietnam as countries of concern.
The commission blew the whistle on Russia due to worsening religious freedoms in that country, which became even more evident with the recent ban of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Once again, North Korea topped the USCIRF list of countries with the most repressive regimes, noting that freedom of religion is non-existent in that communist nation.
North Korea is also Number 1 on Open Doors USA's World Watch list of the top 50 Christian-persecuting countries in the world.
The Commission urged both Congress and the Trump administration to continually speak up about religious freedom abuses around the world, both in public and in private meetings.
"You cannot have religious freedom without the freedom of worship, the freedom of association, the freedom of expression and opinion, the freedom of assembly, protection from arbitrary arrest and detention, [and] protection from interference in home and family," the report states.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/assaults-on-religious-freedom-worsening-worldwide-says-u-s-annual-report-184494/#4lzIKswKL2TVtmGV.99
By The Librarian
Special Notice: This is a controversial page. The views expressed by Raymond Franz are his alone and do not represent the views of this website or it's readers. It is included here for historical and archival reasons in holding with the truth of the events of the early 1980's - The Librarian
Raymond Victor Franz (May 8, 1922 – June 2, 2010) was a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses from 20 October 1971 until 22 May 1980, and served at the organization's world headquarters for fifteen years, from 1965 until 1980. Franz claimed the request for his resignation and his subsequent disfellowshipping resulted from allegations of his apostasy from the faith. Franz wrote two books that related his personal experiences with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and his views on Jehovah's Witnesses teachings.
He was the principal author of the book Aid to Bible Understanding which was replaced in 1988 by the Insight on the Scriptures
Watch Tower career
Franz was born in 1922. His uncle, Frederick Franz, was influential in the religion's development, practices and doctrines. His father associated with the Bible Student movement (from which Jehovah's Witnesses developed) and was baptized in 1913. Raymond joined the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1938, and became a baptized member in 1939.
In 1944 Franz graduated from Gilead, the religion's school for training missionaries, and temporarily served the organization as a traveling representative in the continental U.S. until receiving a missionary assignment to Puerto Rico in 1946. Franz became a representative of Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the Caribbean, traveling to the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic, at least until 1957 when Jehovah's Witnesses were banned in the Dominican Republic by dictator Rafael Trujillo. At the age of 37 Franz married his wife, Cynthia, who joined him on missionary work. Both returned to the Dominican Republic in 1961 to evangelize for four more years before taking up work at Watch Tower headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.
Franz began working in the organization's writing department and was assigned to collaboratively write Aid to Bible Understanding, the first religious encyclopedia published by Jehovah's Witnesses. On 20 October 1971 he was appointed as a member of the Governing Body. In his personal memoir Franz said that at the end of 1979 he reached a personal crossroad:
Frustrated by what he viewed as the Governing Body's dogmatism and overemphasis on traditional views rather than reliance on the Bible in reaching doctrinal decisions, Franz and his wife decided in late 1979 they would leave the international headquarters.
TIME magazine February 22, 1982
In March 1980 Franz and his wife took leave of absence from the world headquarters for health reasons and moved to Alabama, where he took up laboring work on a property owned by a fellow Witness. The following month a committee of the Governing Body raised concerns over the spreading of "wrong teachings" emanating from headquarters staff and began questioning headquarters staff on their beliefs. Staff were also questioned about comments Franz had made that may have contradicted Watch Tower doctrine. The 15 March 1980 issue of The Watchtower issued a statement of regret that its assertions of probability of Armageddon arriving before 1975 had "apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of expectation already initiated." It told disappointed Jehovah's Witnesses, "including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centred on that date" to "concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint". This statement, which placed blame for the disappointment about 1975 on Raymond Franz and his writing committee, precipitated a purge of that committee and eventual disfellowshipping of its sometime Chairman. On May 8 1980 Franz was told that he had been implicated as an apostate. He was called back to Brooklyn on May 20 for two days of questioning by the Chairman's Committee. Franz claimed the discussion concerned allegations that some Witnesses were meeting privately to discuss various teachings of the Watch Tower Society that may have constituted apostasy.
On 21 May 1980 Franz was called to a Governing Body session, questioned for three hours about his Bible viewpoints and commitment to Watch Tower doctrines and agreed to a request to resign from the Governing Body and headquarters staff. Franz refused the Watch Tower Society's offer of a monthly stipend as a member of the "Infirm Special Pioneers". The Governing Body investigation resulted in the disfellowshipping of several other headquarters staff.
On 1 September 1980 the Governing Body distributed a letter to all Circuit and District overseers stating that apostates need not be promoting doctrines to be disfellowshipped. The letter stated that individuals who persisted in "believing other doctrine despite scriptural reproof" were also apostatizing and therefore warranted "appropriate judicial action".
On 18 March 1981 Franz's employer in Alabama submitted a letter of disassociation from Jehovah's Witnesses. A Watchtower article on 15 September 1981 announced a change of policy on disassociation, directing that those who formally withdrew from the religion were to be treated by Witnesses as a disfellowshipped wrongdoer. Franz, who continued to socialize with his employer, was summoned to a judicial hearing on 25 November and disfellowshiped for disobeying the edict. Determined to set the record straight, not only with respect to his having been disfellowshiped, but with respect to larger doctrinal issues, in 1982 he sent Heather and Gary Botting proofs of his upcoming book Crisis of Conscience so that they could chronicle the more widespread discord within the Watch Tower Society. They wrote regarding Franz's contribution to their expose on the Witnesses that his recommendations "undoubtedly strengthened the veracity of the text; we were impressed by his insistence on both fairness and frankness with respect to representing the view of the Watch Tower Society." Following his disfellowshiping, Franz published two books—Crisis of Conscience (1983) and In Search of Christian Freedom (1991)—presenting detailed accounts of his experiences as a Jehovah's Witness, a Governing Body member, and his experiences throughout various levels of the organization.
Franz was ultimately disfellowshipped for having dinner with his employer, a disassociated brother. See also this video
Our Kingdom Service, August 1980 announced when he left the GB and Bethel.
On 30 May 2010, at age 88, Franz fell and suffered a brain hemorrhage. He died on 2 June 2010.
"Announcements", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, page 2, "This is a notification that Raymond Victor Franz is no longer a member of the Governing Body and of the Brooklyn Bethel family as of May 22, 1980." "Witness Under Prosecution", Richard H. Ostling, Anne Constable, Time Magazine, February 22, 1982. "Church Told to Break Privacy, Report 'Sinner'", by John Dart, Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1987. Part 1."Church Told to Break Privacy, Report 'Sinner'", part 2. Rogerson 1969, p. 66 Franz 2002, p. 11 "Gilead’s 61st Graduation a Spiritual Treat", The Watchtower, November 1, 1976, page 671. Franz 2002, p. 16 Franz 2002, pp. 19, 20 Franz 2002, p. 31 Franz 2002, p. 273 Franz 2002, p. 274,275 Penton 1997, pp. 119–121 Franz 2002, p. 298,299 p. 17 pp. 17-18 The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 48-49, 158-163 Franz 2002, pp. 312, 313 Beverley 1986, p. 71 Franz 2002, p. 331 Franz 2002, p. 332 Penton 1997, p. 121 Botting & Botting 1984, p. 161 "Branch Letter", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, "We are saddened to report at this time that five members of the Bethel family, and a few others in the New York city area have recently been disfellowshiped. There has been some apostasy against the organization and the promoting of sectarian divisions in some of the congregations of God’s people. (Titus 3:9-11) Living as we are in times difficult to deal with, it should not be surprising that such things occur. The first-century congregation also experienced deviations as we well know from our reading of the Holy Scriptures.—1 Tim. 1:20; 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:17, 18; 1 Cor. 15:12, 13; Acts 20:29, 30." Protecting the Flock, Watch Tower Society letter to district and circuit overseers, September 1, 1980, part 1. Protecting the Flock, Part 2. "Disfellowshiping — How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23, "One who has been a true Christian might renounce the way of the truth, stating that he no longer considers himself to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or wants to be known as one. When this rare event occurs, the person is renouncing his standing as a Christian, deliberately disassociating himself from the congregation ... Persons who make themselves 'not of our sort' by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses should appropriately be viewed and treated as are those who have been disfellowshiped for wrongdoing." Franz 2002, pp. 357–369 "Expelled Witnesses Claim Group is Ingrown", Miami News, March 19, 1983. the Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 161-63 The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses,p. xxiii "Obituary". Legacy.com. Bibliography
Beverley, James A. (1986). Crisis of Allegiance. Burlington, Ontario: Welch Publishing Company. ISBN 0-920413-37-4. Botting, Heather; Botting, Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Franz, Raymond (2002). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed (2nd ed.). University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. ISBN 0-0945-5940-6. External Links
Richard N. Ostling (February 22, 1982), "Religion: Witness Under Prosecution", Time magazine. Raymond Franz at Find a Grave
By Guest Nicole
A performance criticizing the government’s handling of conscientious objectors, at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square by Amnesty International Korea, the Center for Military Human Rights, World Without War, and People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) to call for an end to the publishing of personal data on military service evaders, Mar. 28. (by Kim Tae-hyeong, staff photographer)
Objectors and civic groups calling for government to introduce alternative forms of service, instead of punishment
On Feb. 23, the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) sent a notice to 23-year-old Park Sang-wook informing him that his personal details were to be made public as a military service evader. Park’s failure to report to the training center on his reported enlistment date of Dec. 26 was defined by the MMA as “evasion of active military service.” Barring special grounds, the notice informed him, his name, age, address, and other personal details would be published online at the end of the year.Park is a conscientious objector. His decision not to perform military service was motivated not by religious reasons, but by his pacifist convictions. On Mar. 28, he took the microphone at a press conference organized at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square by Amnesty International Korea, the Center for Military Human Rights, World Without War, and People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) to call for an end to the publishing of personal data on military service evaders.“What is evasion? It means deliberately avoiding a task because of laziness,” he said.“Under the guise of ‘protecting the public,’ the state has established a rigid military state and is massacring its own citizens or deploying them as hired soldiers,” he continued. “Tarnished as it is by defense industry corruption and suspicious deaths, isn‘t it the military itself that is really full of evasion?”Park is awaiting trial after being indicted this month for violating the Military Service Act. Unless he can present special grounds, he will have to spend eighteen months in prison. Barring other circumstances, he will have his name, address, and other personal data made public in December as a military service evader.As a fellow conscientious objector, PSPD secretary Hong Jeong-hoon is in a similar position.“Publishing personal data for someone undergoing trial defies common sense,” Hong said at the press conference.“We need to recognize individuals’ conscience and convictions and institute a system for alternative forms of military service,” he continued.Last year, the MMA began publishing personal information about military service evaders, including their name, age, address, and the nature of their evasion. The Ministry of National Defense instituted the system to prevent evasion at higher echelons in particular and promote an atmosphere of diligent military service compliance. In late 2016, it published the first list of 237 military service evaders who had not reported by December since an amendment to the Military Service Act went into effect in July 2015.The group World Without War noted that “at least 160 of the 237 people were conscientious objectors as Jehovah’s Witnesses, suggesting conscientious objects represent the majority of the system’s targets.”“As a system that seeks to use shaming to force compliance with military service duties, this system has no effect whatsoever on conscientious objectors who feel they cannot defy the dictates of their conscience, even if it means going to prison,” the group said.Speaking at the press conference, Amnesty International Korea secretary Park Seung-ho explained, “The United Nations Human Rights Committee previously said it was a breach of protocol for the South Korean government to impose prison sentences on conscientious objectors without giving them an opportunity for alternative service.”“Now the South Korean government has built up the conscientious objection issue so much that we can talk about conscientious objection being a right in itself,” Park added.“Instead of infringing more on human rights by releasing personal information, what the South Korean government should be doing is honoring its promises to the international community.”By Park Su-ji, staff reporterPlease direct questions or comments to [firstname.lastname@example.org]
7 MARCA 2017
Korea Południowa niesprawiedliwie traktuje Dong-hyuk Shina
Władze Korei Południowej wtrącają do więzienia setki osób odmawiających służby wojskowej ze względu na sumienie. Karze podlegają również mężczyźni, którzy odmawiają stawienia się na ćwiczenia wojskowe po odbyciu zasadniczej służby wojskowej i przeniesieniu do rezerwy.
Dorastając w Korei Południowej, Dong-hyuk Shin wiedział, że pewnego dnia otrzyma powołanie do wojska. Stawił się do odbycia służby wojskowej, a w 2005 roku został automatycznie przeniesiony do rezerwy. Rezerwiści są przez kolejne osiem lat regularnie wzywani do odbycia ćwiczeń wojskowych.
Krótko po zwolnieniu ze służby Dong-hyuk Shin zaczął studiować Biblię. Jej pokojowe przesłanie poruszyło jego sumienie i pobudziło go do zmiany stosunku do służby wojskowej. Gdy w marcu 2006 roku został wezwany na ćwiczenia dla rezerwistów, poinformował władze wojskowe, że nie może zgodzić się na szkolenie, ponieważ byłoby to sprzeczne z jego sumieniem.
Brak poszanowania wolności sumienia
Korea Południowa nie uznaje prawa do podyktowanej sumieniem odmowy pełnienia służby wojskowej. Obecnie wzywa na ćwiczenia dla rezerwistów ponad 40 Świadków Jehowy, którzy odmawiają służby wojskowej ze względu na sumienie.
Wojsko zignorowało przyczyny, dla których Dong-hyuk Shin odmawiał wzięcia udziału w ćwiczeniach rezerwistów, i w ciągu roku kalendarzowego 2006 skierowało do niego w sumie 30 wezwań. Dong-hyuk Shin otrzymywał wezwania przez kolejne siedem lat. Od marca 2006 do grudnia 2013 roku odebrał ich łącznie 118 *. Ponieważ za każdym razem z szacunkiem odmawiał stawienia się na ćwiczenia, 49 razy był sądzony i uznany za winnego, 69 razy stawał przed sądami pierwszej i drugiej instancji oraz otrzymał w sumie 35 wyroków.
„Nie miał innego wyjścia”
Sądy nie miały wątpliwości, że Dong-hyuk Shin szczerze trzymał się głosu swojego sumienia. W swojej decyzji z 7 października 2014 roku Sąd Rejonowy w Ulsan orzekł: „To zrozumiałe, że gdy [Dong-hyuk Shin] został Świadkiem Jehowy, w tej sytuacji nie miał innego wyjścia, jak tylko złamać prawo, ponieważ nie mógł pogodzić służby wojskowej ze swoim wewnętrznym sumieniem i przekonaniami religijnymi”.
Chociaż Sąd Rejonowy ze zrozumieniem odniósł się do trudnego położenia Dong-hyuk Shina, możliwości sądów południowokoreańskich są ograniczone przepisami prawa o służbie wojskowej. Dong-hyuk Shin został ukarany przez sądy grzywnami w wysokości ponad 16 milionów wonów (około 55 000 złotych) i sześć razy skazany w zawieszeniu na pozbawienie wolności na okres przynajmniej sześciu miesięcy. W jednej sprawie sąd skazał go na 200 godzin prac społecznych.
Dong-hyuk Shin mówi: „Byłem tym strasznie udręczony. Miałem wrażenie, że ta próba nigdy się nie skończy. Moje częste wizyty w sądzie martwiły też moją rodzinę. Myślę, że przez te dziewięć lat tak samo jak ja cierpiała moja mama, a cały ten stres wpłynął niekorzystnie na jej zdrowie. Serce mi pękało, gdy widziałem, jak zadręcza się ona z powodu mojej sytuacji. Ucierpiałem też pod względem finansowym. Ciągłe wezwania, późniejsze postępowania sądowe i wyroki zmusiły mnie siedem razy do zmiany miejsca zatrudnienia, ponieważ z powodu obowiązku stawiania się w sądzie rosła moja absencja w pracy”.
Naruszenie umów międzynarodowych
Dong-hyuk Shin bezskutecznie odwoływał się od każdego z wyroków do sądów południowokoreańskich — Sąd Najwyższy czterokrotnie odrzucił jego skargi. Po wyczerpaniu środków prawnych w Korei Południowej w czerwcu 2016 roku Dong-hyuk Shin wniósł skargę do Komitetu Praw Człowieka ONZ. Stwierdził w niej, że poprzez ciągłe wezwania, postępowania sądowe i wyroki skazujące Korea Południowa nie wywiązała się z obowiązku przestrzegania Międzynarodowego Paktu Praw Obywatelskich i Politycznych. Skarga dotyczy trzech zagadnień:
Wielokrotne powoływanie do wojska osób odmawiających służby wojskowej ze względu na sumienie i ponownie karanie ich za tę odmowę jest jednoznacznie uznane w prawie międzynarodowym za pogwałcenie prawa do rzetelnego procesu.
Wielokrotne wezwania do odbycia ćwiczeń wojskowych i idące za tym procesy karne potwierdzają oczywisty cel działania urzędników państwowych, którym jest przymuszenie do służby wojskowej. Życie Dong-hyuk Shina wypełniły nękające oskarżenia i przewody sądowe, a lekceważenie i uznawanie trzymania się swoich przekonań religijnych za przestępstwo stanowiło upokarzającą karę.
Ponieważ Dong-hyuk Shin sprzeciwia się odbyciu służby wojskowej z powodu mocnych przekonań religijnych, uważa on, że naruszono jego prawo do wolności sumienia i wyznania.
Oczekiwanie na ulgę
Dong-hyuk Shin jest pełen optymizmu, że jego skarga zostanie rozpatrzona pozytywnie, ponieważ Komitet wielokrotnie orzekał, iż Korea Południowa powinna przestrzegać podyktowanego sumieniem prawa do odmowy służby wojskowej *. Z nadzieją oczekuje na decyzję, która uwzględni szczególną sytuację osób przeniesionych do rezerwy. Dong-hyuk Shin mówi: „Nie żałuję, że muszę bronić moich przekonań religijnych i sumienia, ale sprzeciwiam się temu, jak byłem traktowany. Mam nadzieję, że władze Korei Południowej uznają to, że ludzie mają prawo odmówić wypełnienia obowiązku nałożonego przez państwo, jeśli jest on sprzeczny z nakazami sumienia”. Podobne stanowisko zajmują Świadkowie Jehowy w Korei Południowej i na całym świecie.
„Wielokrotne karanie osób odmawiających służby wojskowej z powodów sumienia za niezastosowanie się do ponownego wezwania do służby oznacza powtórne karanie za ten sam czyn, jeśli kolejna odmowa wynika z tych samych niezmiennych przyczyn opartych na sumieniu” (Orzeczenie Komitetu Praw Człowieka, Zafar Abdullayev v. Turkmenistan, Communication No. 2218/2012, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/113/D/2218/2012, 25 marca 2015)
NAJCZĘŚCIEJ ZADAWANE PYTANIA
Dlaczego Świadkowie Jehowy nie idą na wojnę?
Świadkowie Jehowy są znani z tego, że nie uczestniczą w wojnach. Dowiedz się dlaczego.
By The Librarian
Hi brothers!!! Really need your help to send these pictures to Bethelite couple in Korea. Don't know how to send it because I forgot their names, I think the name of the name of the sister is Cendy/Cindy? I want to thank them for their hospitality when I was touring the branch. Hope you can help me. Thank you and regards. - Clifford Abalos, Philippines
Support for conscientious objection increases
By Kim Se-jeong
The number of people in Korea who support conscientious objection has risen significantly over the last decade, a recent survey showed, Monday.
According to the survey conducted by the National Human Rights Commission on 2,556 people aged 15 or older from May to December, 46.1 percent of respondents said the country should allow conscientious objection.
The commission has conducted the survey regularly and the support ratio has increased from 10.2 percent in 2005 to 33.3 percent in 2011.
"Tolerance has improved, but it is clear that conscientious objection is still a contentious issue in Korean society," the commission said in a report. "The number shows it is time for open discussion about it."
The survey didn't mention what contributed to the change in public opinion.
All able-bodied men aged 18 or older in Korea are obliged to serve in the military. Objectors are subject to prison terms. According to statistics, almost 600 men are punished every year for refusing to serve.
Most objectors in Korea cite religion or personal belief in peace as reasons for refusal. Many of them are Jehovah's Witnesses, a Christian denomination.
They demand the government give them an opportunity to serve the country in other ways by introducing alternative services. But the government has refused to accommodate their request, saying no exception is allowed for compulsory military service.
The survey results came out hours before a local court ruling in favor of conscientious objection.
Siding with a 23-year-old conscientious objector surnamed Park, the Jeonju District Court in North Jeolla Province said, "We recognized that the defendant refused to serve on the basis of his religion and values, which is an individual freedom given to all."
Park, a Jehovah's Witness, was taken to court by the government in June last year after refusing to comply with the mandatory service.
A dozen other local courts and an appeals court in Gwangju have also ruled in favor of conscientious objectors.
The Constitutional Court has been reviewing petitions from such people and is expected to make a ruling sometime early this year on whether compulsory military service infringes on individuals' freedoms and whether the country needs to allow alternative services.
The ruling was originally due by the end of last year, but was put off as the court has been focusing on the review of President Park Geun-hye's impeachment.
In 2004 and 2011, it ruled against objectors.
THE KOREAN TIMES
Posted : 2017-01-10
By Kim Se-jeong
By Guest Nicole
Tras pasar 11 años dentro de los testigos de Jehová, un exmiembro de la secta religiosa decidió huir de la organización y emprender un viaje de cinco años a través de toda Rusia y el espacio postsoviético.
Iván Shiriáyev, que es oriundo de la ciudad de Kamyshin (Volgogrado, Rusia), se ganó el prestigio y reconocimiento de los testigos de Jehová durante sus 11 años como miembro de la organización religiosa. No obstante, un día decidió abandonar la secta y dejar atrás tanto la doctrina que predicaba, como a su esposa, devota a las creencias de aquella.
"Siempre dudaba de si estaba siguiendo el camino correcto", reveló Shiriáyev en una entrevista concedida al portal The Village. Durante su membresía en la secta el hombre apenas tuvo tiempo para analizar sus dudas en profundidad, ya que dedicaba casi todo el tiempo libre –lo cual no era poco teniendo en cuenta que trabajaba unas pocas horas al día, justo lo necesario "para ganarse el pan y la leche"– a oraciones, predicación y actividades de la organización. La salida de la secta empezó a fraguarse con el libro 'Crisis de conciencia' del exmiembro del cuerpo gobernante de los testigos de Jehová Raymond Franz.
Shiriáyev llevaba más de un año considerando la idea de salir de la secta. Las obras de Franz, "probablemente la persona más temible en el universo después de satán [para los testigos de Jehová]", le ayudaron a entender cómo funciona la organización.
Un día cotidiano en el seno de la secta
Un día típico de un testigo de Jehová empieza con la lectura del folleto 'Examinando las Escrituras diariamente' y con oraciones, explica el exmiembro de la organización. El trabajo de la vida mundana no adquiere mucha importancia para los testigos, que tratan de dedicarle el menor tiempo posible. La ocupación principal es predicar. "Sirves varias horas, vuelves a casa, te preparas para una reunión y te vas a la cama", señala Shiriáyev.
Cuando estaba en las filas de la secta, las reuniones tenían lugar dos o tres veces a la semana y contaban con la participación de unas 30 personas. "Entre los testigos siempre te sientes culpable, por eso muchos padecen depresión", indica. Los miembros de la secta constantemente se enfrentan a la pregunta de si podrían hacer más y 'robar' tiempo de asuntos menos importantes para dedicarse aún más a su misión.
Convencidos de que el Armagedón se acerca y solo 144.000 personas se dirigirán al cielo después de la muerte mientras el resto se queda en la Tierra, los testigos de Jehová tienen como objetivo principal divulgar este acontecimiento a todo el mundo. Y la predicación es la forma principal de lograr este fin.
Cada mes los miembros de la secta presentan un informe donde indican cuántas horas han servido y cuántos materiales religiosos han difundido. "Existen miembros experimentados que, por ejemplo, predican no menos de 70 horas al mes", comenta Shiriáyev, quien ejerció a lo largo de ocho años. También existe un sistema de incentivos y castigos que pueden estimular tanto el crecimiento en la jerarquía de la secta, como la privación de los privilegios. El castigo más duro es la expulsión.
En cuanto al perfil de los miembros, la mayoría de los testigos de Jehová son personas sin estudios superiores (la educación superior no es bienvenida en la organización). En las reuniones solo el 20% son hombres. El resto son mujeres jóvenes, mujeres con niños y ancianas, menciona Shiriáyev. El matrimonio civil está prohibido y los matrimonios con personas ajenas a la organización no están bien vistos.
La escapada de este ciudadano ruso fue radical: simuló su muerte. Dejó una nota de despedida señalando que había seguido el camino de su padre (que se suicidó tres años atrás) y se esfumó. Se fue a su casa de campo con un magnetófono, una manta y una lancha neumática. Tras encontrar la embarcación en un sótano entre basura, sus familiares se dieron cuenta de que Shiriáyev estaba vivo e iniciaron su búsqueda a nivel federal.
El hombre pasó nueve meses de vida ordinaria, utilizando su pasaporte en los nuevos puestos de trabajo que desempeñó y no fue consciente de que lo buscaran. Lo encontraron por casualidad en un puesto de control en la región de Amur, cuando fue detenido probablemente al sospecharse de que había participado en saqueos en unas aldeas que sufrieron inundaciones.
Desde entonces dejó de ser objeto de búsquedas. "Nadie –ni mi mujer, ni los decanos– se esforzó en encontrarme", señaló Shiriáyev. Solo un amigo suyo, extestigo también, trató de avanzar en su búsqueda. "Así me di cuenta de que no tenía amigos", explicó el prófugo.
Shiriáyev constató de manera escrita que ya no quería seguir siendo testigo de Jehová y se presentó a la reunión de la secta donde la noticia fue anunciada oficialmente con un traje de boda para celebrarlo. Paralelamente, su matrimonio fracasaba.
Una vez al año acude a la celebración anual de los testigos, la Conmemoración de la muerte de Jesús o Cena del Señor, con una cazadora que lleva la inscripción 'apóstata abyecto'. "Los que me conocen se apartan de mí de un salto: ¿cómo puede salvarse un renegado? Pero para mí es una actuación anual", explica Shiriáyev. Entre las ventajas de su membresía en los testigos de Jehová señala las destrezas adquiridas en en el terreno de la comunicación y los discursos públicos y que ha aprendido a vivir con modestia.
El 27 de octubre de 2012 Shiriáyev abandonó su casa y empezó a viajar haciendo autostop.
Tras su viaje por Rusia, Ucrania y Bielorrusia ha visitado numerosas ciudades. De las 1.122 localidades rusas que planea visitar ya ha estado en 360 de ellas. Se ha hecho agnóstico, viaja con una mochila que pesa 20 kilos y no cuenta con patrocinadores influyentes: utiliza sus propios medios para cubrir los gastos. Trabaja de obrero, de vez en cuando recibe alimentos, ropa y otras donaciones de desconocidos y pasa las noches básicamente en sitios donde no tiene que pagar la estancia: en casas de otros viajeros, monasterios o paradas de transporte. Su viaje de cinco años todavía no ha terminado y no tiene claro qué le deparará el futuro.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Kim Se-jeong
An Jung-hyun, 23, is a Jehovah's Witness on trial for refusing to fulfill his compulsory military service. He was found guilty twice in lower courts, and appealed to the Supreme Court in July. Lawyers told him his chances of winning were low given the highest court's precedents, but he is cautiously hopeful.
This year alone, district courts acquitted nine fellow Jehovah's Witnesses of violations of the Military Law. The most recent ruling came one week ago from the Cheongju District Court which stated, "There are many ways to contribute to the nation without violating a person's basic rights such as social service or alternate work. It is unjust to punish military objectors by criminal law without even making efforts to provide alternatives."
Another hopeful sign comes from Kim Jae-hyung, a Supreme Court justice nominee who recently expressed his support for such objectors and alternative ways to serve the country. His confirmation hearing will begin in September, and if confirmed, he is expected to add a different opinion on the 13-justice court.
Ahn Se-young from Amnesty International Korea also showed cautious optimism.
"These developments certainly reflect growing public support for conscientious objectors," Ahn said.
While the government has claimed that conscientious objectors do not enjoy public support, Amnesty International Korea and Gallup recently conducted a survey in which more than 70 percent of respondents expressed support for conscientious objectors, according to Ahn.
"But, the appeals court and highest court are still conservative," Ahn said. She also doubts Kim will be influential enough to change the opinion of the entire top court.
Kim Dong-in, another Jehovah's Witness, claimed it's time for the Korean government to take a stance.
"If you look at the world, fewer countries refuse to recognize conscious objectors. It will eventually happen in Korea. It's time for Korea to voluntarily recognize them instead of being coerced to do so under pressure," he said.
But those against conscientious objectors claim if they are recognized, many people will abuse the system. "If Jehovah's Witnesses are found not guilty and are allowed alternative services, many young men will join the religious group only to avoid military duty," a blogger said. "There will be no way to sort out whether they are really believers or just misusing the system."
Now, eyes are on the Constitutional Court, which is expected to rule on an appeal by a conscientious objector later this year. Two previous rulings found it unconstitutional to skip military service because of personal beliefs.
Between 1950 and 2011, more than 16,000 conscientious objectors have been imprisoned in Korea, according to Amnesty International Korea. Every year, hundreds of objectors, mostly Jehovah's Witnesses, are put on trial for their rejection of military service based on their beliefs. Those convicted are sentenced to imprisonment for up to 18 months.
"There will be so much I won't be able to do if I have a criminal record," An said. "I am not saying that I will avoid my service to the country altogether. I would like to serve my country, but in a different form."
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Song In-ho, 25, is waiting for a court ruling on his decision to refuse military service in South Korea, and will be jailed once his claim is rejected. To mark the International Day of Conscientious Objectors on 15 May, he tells Amnesty how his religious beliefs have shaped his life.
Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, my conscience was shaped by the Bible. We are taught to love even our enemies, and that we should not repay violence with violence. This is why I made a conscientious objection to military service. I was found guilty at my initial trial and, if my appeal is rejected, I will be put behind bars for 18 months. But that is not where my story ends or even begins.
Branded a criminal at birth
In South Korea, those who conscientiously object to military service are stigmatized, almost as if we are branded at birth. It is like people know that a child is predestined to be in jail, so they decide to treat them like criminals-to-be.
My mother is a Jehovah’s Witness, but my father was initially very opposed to my religion. He knew his beloved son would eventually go to jail for refusing military service, and no father wants that.Because of this, I have always tried my hardest to be a good, diligent son. As a result, my father gradually changed his mind. He was the first to support my appeal.
When I was a primary school student, I was asked during class to write about my future aspirations, but I left it blank as I knew it was not achievable. Since I was destined to go to jail anyway, what use is a dream? Yet I could not tell that to my mother because she would be heartbroken.
I remember a traumatic experience when some classmates approached me and asked: “Are you a Jehovah’s Witness? My mother said that you would be sent to jail.” It was many years later that I realized this experience was merely the prologue to what was to unfold in my life.
Marked out at school
At the start of each school term, teachers and friends would ask me the same question:“Are you really going to jail? Are you sure you want to be a Jehovah's Witness?” My answer was always the same. It isn't a matter of compromise, because it is about creed, something I would trade my life for. It is a burden I need to carry to the end.
Friends would ask, "Do you even know how much negative gossip there is about you?" Such moments are very bitter to stomach, and those painful memories are far too many.
The discrimination at college was particularly harsh. My friends once mocked me: “Song In-ho, you can't use profanity, you can't fight, you don't pass as a man, and you’re not living up to anything.” There was a lot of ridicule, and it was quite frankly unpleasant. I felt angry. I spent a lot of time thinking: “Is this the right thing to do? Is it unmanly?”
Ever since I was born, I have felt like I’m on a runaway train rushing toward an inevitable station called jail and feeling utterly helpless, unable to escape.
After graduation, I wanted to find a good job but couldn’t. As a conscientious objector, getting a job in a reputable company is nearly impossible because of the discrimination and prejudice. I’m currently helping my parents in their cleaning business.
“As a conscientious objector, getting a job in a reputable company is nearly impossible because of the discrimination and prejudice.” Only asking for alternatives
To prepare for my trial, I went to court on the same day each week and I saw petty thieves, burglars, crooks, and rapists – criminals of all variety, all appealing that their sentences were unreasonable. I felt that if anyone should make an appeal, it ought to be me.
I made up my mind then. If given a chance, no matter what it took, I would do all I can to plead my innocence, even if it meant certain incarceration.
I am willing and ready to dedicate myself to any form of alternative service for my country, no matter how difficult. My conscientious objection to military service is nothing to do with avoiding service.
I am a grateful citizen, and it is my wish that I would be allowed to contribute to the nation in some way other than military service. Whatever that alternative may be, I am willing to take it on, as long as it does not go against my conscience.
That's all we are really asking for.
In South Korea, a majority of conscientious objectors are Jehovah’s Witnesses. The country imprisons more people for their conscientious objection to military service than the rest of the world put together – with at least 600 men mostly aged between 20 and 24 currently in jail.
Living by a Bible-Trained Conscience, Part 3 Korea (1961-1979)
Living by a Bible-Trained Conscience, Part 2 Korea (1946-1960)
Living by a Bible-Trained Conscience, Part 1 Korea (1939-1945)
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