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Korean Anglican clergy walk 400+ miles to commemorate ferry disaster

Posted on: September 29, 2014 3:15 PM
Related Categories: Korea

By the Anglican Church of Korea with additional reporting by ACNS

Three priests  from the Anglican Church of Korea today started a 400-plus kilometre walk to commemorate the victims of South Korea's worst maritime disaster in decades.

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The members of The Anglican Priest Corps for the Justice and Peace have started their walk from Paengmok on Jin-do--the nearest port to the site of the incident--to Seoul Kanghwamun.

It is over 400 km between Jin-do and Seoul as the crow flies and takes more than six hours to complete by bus. The priests expect to arrive at their destination around October 18.

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A spokesperson for the Anglican Church of Korea, the Revd Stephen Yoo, said the walk was not only to remember all the victims of the Sewol Ferry, but also to pray for their families who have lost loved ones.

The sinking of the MV Sewol occurred on 16 April 2014 en route from Incheon to Jeju. The Japanese-built South Korean ferry capsized while carrying 476 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School in Ansan City.

Around 300 people died in the disaster. Of the approximate 172 survivors, many were rescued by fishing boats and other commercial vessels, which were first on the scene before the arrival approximately 30 minutes later of the South Korean coast guard and the navy.

The sinking of the ferry led to much criticism of the government, the ferry operator and the regulators that oversaw its operations. The captain and three crew members were charged with murder and 11 others were indicted for abandoning the ship. The owner of Chonghaejin Marine, which operated the Sewol was found dead a few months later in a field 415 kilometres south of Seoul.