[Letter to the editor]Some facts about ‘foreigners’ cemetery’

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[Letter to the editor]Some facts about ‘foreigners’ cemetery’

As someone who has lived as a “foreigner” in Seoul for most of the past 50 years, I greatly appreciated the attention your newspaper gave to the plight of the Seoul Foreigners’ Cemetery at Yanghwajin (“Christians battle over historic cemetery,” July 3). However, I was greatly disappointed to find in it so many errors of fact.
The article implies that the cemetery is primarily for Christian missionaries who served in Korea and died here, but in fact most of the “foreigners” buried there were neither missionaries nor the descendants of missionaries.
Diplomats, teachers, merchants or soldiers ― from many different countries ― were buried there as well.
The recent attempt by the newly established 100th Anniversary Church to claim ownership of Yanghwajin Cemetery and turn it into a “missionary cemetery”for their own purposes speaks of corruption and greed, and it is a flagrant insult to the memories of all the “foreigners” buried there and their descendants as well. Korea is known as a country that honors ancestors, but your article missed that point entirely.
Dwight J. Strawn,
professor emeritus, Yonsei University
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