Da’wa: the intensive course. “Some kidnappers threatened us with death at gunpoint to force us to follow them in chanting their Islamic prayer for conversion.”
A group of South Koreans held hostage by Taleban militants in Afghanistan have said they were beaten and ordered at gunpoint to convert to Islam.
At a news conference in Seoul, the former captives also said they were made to work “like slaves” during their six-week ordeal.
Twenty-one members of the group were freed last month following an agreement between South Korea and the captors.
Two of the hostages – all Christian aid workers – had already been killed.
Beaten and kicked
The former hostages said they feared for their lives at times when their captors turned violent.
“We were beaten with a tree branch or kicked around. Some kidnappers threatened us with death at gunpoint to force us to follow them in chanting their Islamic prayer for conversion,” said Jae Chang-hee.
“I was beaten many times. They pointed a rifle and bayonet at me and tried to force me to convert.”
He said the group “lived like slaves. We had to level the ground for motorbikes, and get water and make a fire”.
Another of the group, Yu Jung-hwa, described how she thought she was going to die.
“The most difficult moment, when I had a big fear of death, was when the Taleban shot [a] video.
“All 23 of us leaned against a wall and armed Taleban aimed their guns at us, and a pit was before me.
“They said they will save us if we believe in Islam. I almost fainted at the time and I still cannot look at cameras,” she said.