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Religious Child Abuse

October 28, 2010

Looks like this:

That is one of the most disturbing things I have seen in awhile…


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark permalink
    October 28, 2010 11:38 am

    When I was going to Trinity Western I was the English pastor at a Korean church (Kwanglim, which is the church right before you go over the Port Mann going west). Bassically, most Korean churches have some element of this. Esspecailly during retreats and almost always during long prayer meetings or worship services. You see it in all ages, English and Korean, though the young children not as much. It’s a cultural thing. This becomes obvious when you look at the rest of Korean culture. They are the people of doing things hardcore. On the other hand, I do remember some Korean youth coming from Korea visiting our church and while they found the English service ok from what they understood they were terrified in the Korean service largley due to the prayer time they had that Sunday. It can be a frighteing thing to experience if you’ve never expierenced it before or know why it is happening the way it is. They never came back.

    It is very much like a Pentecostal prayer time when everyone is speaking in tongues. The difference here is that they aren’t speaking in tongues but rather Korean. And I think this is the key to understanding why something like this developed. Their starting point is different. Koreans tend to pray together all at the same time. While they do do the standard western type prayer where one person prays at a time whenever there is a prayer meeting one person calls out a prayer request and then everyone starts praying at the same time. This naturally leads to everyone praying louder and louder so as to hear yourself. This eventually leads to what you see in the video. Also, because everyone is praying you are not as inhibited to show the emotion that is in your inner being at the time. So I’m not sure one should consider this video as religious child abuse given the reasons for why this type of prayer has come about. Does it seem weird and unusual from Western eyes? Sure. But then again, from Korean eyes, Westerners seem to pray like they don’t really care (though they obviously know that we do).

    Maybe I’ve been desensitized but I’m not sure child abuse is the right term for what is going on here. Weird by Western standards? Yes. Child abuse on the same level as emotionally demoralizing a child or sexually abusing a child, I don’t think so.

    – Mark

    • Mark permalink
      October 28, 2010 12:16 pm

      Sorry, I accidently copied the first paragraph twice into the commet. Not sure how I did that but giving that it’s me I am not suprised.

      – Mark

    • October 28, 2010 6:28 pm

      Mark, I really appreciate the insight. I used to work for a Christian camp and conference center and we once rented the facilities to a Korean Christian group. To say I was freaked out by some of the practices like that pictured in the video (though children weren’t part of the group) would be an understatement.

      However, having lived in Latin America for three years and understanding cultural differences, I’m glad you could explain this to me.

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