NSP News Agency, November 11, 2019, Special Exhibition of Korea’s First Episode of Conscientious Objection, the Deungdaesa Incident, Held in Busan

NSP News Agency, Reporter Kang Eun-tae (keepwatch@nspna.com)

(NSP News Agency, Seoul) Reporter Kang Eun-tae—A special exhibition of the Deungdaesa Incident, the first case of conscientious objection to military activities in Korea by Jehovah’s Witnesses, will be held in Busan following one already held in Seoul. They endured severe injustice during the Japanese colonial era and demonstrated the core value of peace that humanity must defend.

Changing History, Unchanging Conscience—Busan Special Exhibition commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Deungdaesa Incident and will be held November 12 to December 13 at the National Memorial Museum of Forced Mobilization Under Japanese Occupation, Busan after its completion at the Seodaemun Prison History Museum, Seoul.

The exhibition contains 6,000 pages of trial records, previously stored by the National Institute of Korean History, now compiled and made public. It exposes the full scope of the Deungdaesa Incident which, up to now, has only been partially reported in the media. It highlights how the spirit of the Deungdaesa Incident, said to be the first case of conscientious objection to military activities on the Korean Peninsula, has endured for the last 80 years.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, called Deungdaesawon (the Lighthouse Society people) during the Japanese colonial period, were arrested between 1939 and 1941 and imprisoned because they resisted participation in emperor worship and military activities. At least 66 of them were charged with violations of the Maintenance of Public Order Act and spent on average more than four years in prison, six of them dying during imprisonment, including one who died in a Japanese prison.

© Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania 2019.

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