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Anglican minister sacked hours after ‘wishing president’s plane to crash’

A priest of the Anglican Church of Korea has been deposed from the ordained ministry hours after he wished President Yoon Suk-yeol’s plane to crash on Facebook.

Daejeon Diocese of the Anglican Church of Korea said Monday that the Rev. Kim Gyu-don had been removed from his duties, as his comments “are not ones that a priest can do.”

In a Facebook posting earlier on Monday, the penalized priest said the entire Korean population should wish for the crash, saying such effort will “move the heavens.” Yoon is currently on a six-day visit to Southeast Asia.

A posting by the Rev. Kim Gyu-don expressing hope that the presidential airplane would crash. (Facebook)
A posting by the Rev. Kim Gyu-don expressing hope that the presidential airplane would crash. (Facebook)

Yoon departed Korea for the two-nation tour with the first lady Kim Keon-hee on Friday to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Group of 20 summits, respectively held in Cambodia and Indonesia. He is to return home Wednesday.

After the church was pelleted with complaints, Kim deleted the post and said the message was supposed to have been a private one made public by mistake.

The decision to depose him was made by Bishop of Daejeon Yu Nak-jun.

The church offered an apology for whom had been angered or hurt by Kim’s words, stating that the post was just Kim’s opinion and does not reflect the position of the Daejeon Diocese or the Anglican Church of Korea.

Another priest from the same region, this time of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Daejeon, sparked dispute when it was learned that he had posted a photo-shopped image of Yoon and Kim falling off the presidential plane.

A Facebook post by Rev. Park Ju-hwan shows President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee falling out of the presidential plane. (Facebook)
A Facebook post by Rev. Park Ju-hwan shows President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee falling out of the presidential plane. (Facebook)

The posting uploaded on Facebook on Saturday by the Rev. Park Ju-hwan also carries the text “I pray with all my heart” with the prayer emoji, a photo of a young girl who looks to be praying, and the text, “It was a simple accident caused by a defect in the aircraft, and nobody’s fault.”

After the controversy, Park closed his account. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Daejeon plans to summon Park to check the facts, after which they will release an official statement on the matter.



By Yoon Min-sik (minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)
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