뭐라고? 군대 갈 필요가 없다고? 이유는?

I just learned something new today. I met a Korean high school student and I asked him if he had been to the army already. Stupid question, I know. I forgot he was still in high school and he’s not yet supposed to go to army until after he graduates high school. He said not yet and that he doesn’t need to go. I can’t help but be curious since I was told that every Korean men has to go to army. No exceptions. So I asked him again. Why? He said because he’s a 여호와의 증인 (Jehovah’s Witness). I was baffled as to why he doesn’t have to go to the army just because he was a 여호와의 증인 so I asked him and I was quite surprised to find out why and what consequences they have to face for not going to army. I also looked up Naver regarding this just to be sure. Seems legit. Sorry, it’s April Fool’s Day. I just had to check if he’s telling the truth. Haha!

All this time, I believed that every single Korean men go to army except for those who are severely ill. But I was wrong. Korean men whose religion is Jehovah’s Witness don’t go to army. Not because they’re exempted from it but because they refuse to because practicing violence is against their belief. Instead, they spend a year and 2 months in prison for breaking the law. And not going to army is considered as breaking the law. That is just so sad being imprisoned not for doing a serious crime such as murder or robbing a bank but for refusing to go to army because of their religion. I just find it absurd to say the least. But on the other hand, I understand why the Korean government doesn’t give them an exemption and send them to prison. Because if they do, every men will want to be a Jehovah’s Witness just so they won’t have to go to army. If that happens, who will go to army and protect their country? XD

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1 Comment

  1. I didn’t know about this. When I was still in Korea, I met a couple of friends who are Jehova’s Witnesses. I think we talked about Korean men entering the army but they didn’t mention this. Wah. :((

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