Robert Neff has a special report in the Korea Herald warning that the supposed caretaker of Seoul’s historic Foreigners’ Cemetery may have other things in mind for its deceased residents:
The Latin expression “requiescat in pace” or “rest in peace” is a prayer for the repose of the dead, but for many of those buried at the Foreigners’ Cemetery in Mapo-gu, their continued peaceful rest is uncertain.
There is mounting concern among members of the foreign community about the future sanctity and security of certain graves at the Yangwhajin Foreigners’ Cemetery. Those not classified as missionaries face the possibility of being disinterred, or possibly even worse, having the grave markers removed and the ground put to other use.
At the center of the controversy is the 100th Anniversary Church (HAC), which claims to be the caretaker of the almost 550 graves containing the remains of missionaries, diplomats, soldiers, businesspeople and expats from 16 nations.
Just to give you an idea of what we’re talking about:
In an interview with The Korea Herald, Kim Yong-nam, who identified himself as administrator to the Church and Yangwhajin, supported the claim that those who were unsuitable for the cemetery such as Koreans, a foreigner he described as an “Itaewon pool player,” and members of the U.S. military – who chose to be buried at the cemetery along with their families – would be removed at some time in the future.
In a separate interview, general secretary of the Committee for the HAC, Kim Kyoung-rae stated, “This is nonsense. We are here to protect all the tombs. We will never move the bodies until Jesus comes!”
However, not all in the committee or the church seem as confident or determined as Kim Kyoung-rae.
The director of information of HAC, Yosep Jung professed, “We want to protect the missionaries’ graves for eternity, but as to the other graves (foreigners) maybe after 60 years we will not be able to protect them.”
Disgusting. Read the rest on your own.