February 15th, 2012
04:39 AM ET

Pastor, wife accused of killing 'possessed' children

By Paula Hancocks, CNN

Seoul (CNN) - A pastor and his wife are in custody accused of killing three of their children by starving them to ward off evil spirits, police in South Korea said Wednesday.

The couple told police the children - aged nine, seven and three - had been ill, which they believed was a sign they were invaded by evil spirits after eating too much on Lunar New Year.

They then cut the children's hair to chase the spirits out and starved them from January 24 until February 2, only allowing them to drink water. Local media reports said the parents had beaten the children with a belt and a fly swatter numerous times.

The pastor, named only by his surname Park, and his wife, Cho, told police they tied the children's arms and legs with stockings. All three died on February 2, the first around 2am, the second at 5am and the third at 7am, according to police in the town of Boseong, more than 186 miles (300 kilometers) south of Seoul.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Asia • Scandal • South Korea

soundoff (463 Responses)
  1. Jesus

    I am Jesus and I approve this beating. Superstar!

    March 1, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • David

      You obviously have read none of Jesus' teachings where He blesses little children and says that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. If anything, these people's actions show the reality of good and evil. If there is no God, there is no way to tell the difference between the two.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Will E

      If the only way humans can tell good and evil apart is because God tells us... then how can we know what God says is "good"? That's some trick, huh?

      March 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  2. robertM

    Yup... nothing screams "Faith in god" more then murdering your own children.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  3. jason

    let me guess the fake "god" told them to do it right!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • RobertM

      No! The real one did!

      March 1, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Richard

      this doesn't represent anything God approves of.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Momof3

      @Richard – you must be speaking of the god of the new testament, then, ' cause the god of the old testament was ALL over this one!

      March 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Nic

      @Richard – How would you know?

      March 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  4. Mistylynn

    This is pure sick and pure evil.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  5. Dan

    I'm sure the Koreans have dealt with the issue appropriately and I'm also sure the real Christians in that nation have condemned it roundly as not reflecting Jesus at all. Unlike that other religion that as a culture kills infidels for disrespecting their so called bible in Christian nations there will be no rioting and killing innocent people.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  6. Paul Wilson

    I don't care for Korean Christians. Some howl after this Park Money Moon. Some chase after Bang Ik Ha who said 10-28-1992 would start the Great Tribulation, etc. Korean Christians caused trouble in my home town.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • GodsPeople

      Korean Christians are not true Christians. They are fooled into thinking that God loves them. They are not white and are put here to serve whites. They are cursed and not going to Heaven.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  7. durarat

    Religion is the opium of the people. It is like an addictive drug. The more we have, the more we want. It sometimes gives us delusions, it sometimes gives us peace, it sometimes prevents us from knowing right from wrong, it sometimes frees our souls and other times is destroys our souls.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • Dan

      Why do you add "we" durarat? Your only religion is your uninformed opinion. What an arrogant religion you have!!

      February 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  8. Hello!

    Okay, these people were just a pair of psycho's! This had nothing to do with religion....they were lunatics people. Also, whoever said about Catholic's not doing things like this, so they just molest kids instead of killing them right! I'm not taking religious sides, but am pointing out that it doesn't matter what religion these people are if your crazy, your crazy. How about you think about the poor children that must have been confused and terrified. You would have to be totally crazy to watch your children die slowly and think it's god's will!

    February 28, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  9. Linda

    Gotta love those Christians their remedy for "evil spirits." What a sick couple. It makes me truly glad I'm agnostic. Lots of sickos inhabit those church pews.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Daniel

      What a foolish thing to say. That is like saying "Gotta like those blacks for robbing liquor stores" Lumping all of any group together like that is STEREOTYPING.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:15 am |
    • christains.

      Guns don't kill people. People with gods kill people.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • liz48

      Do not judge God or His Truth by those who claim to follow Him. The Bible is filled with events of those who identified with God and were cut down by His Justice. You are responsible for yourself and will have to only answer to God and His Ways. The day you face Him, there is nothing that says you will be able to blame someone else for what you did. The Bible says, "the fool says there is no God!"

      February 29, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Kathryn

      Not all Christians are like that for your information. Maybe you should check over your facts before you start to run your jabber about this situation. I'm christian but I would never kill my kids because of "evil spirits".

      February 29, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Richard

      Yes, cause clearly the only people with crazy ideas are "religious".
      Get your head out of the sand.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Joe

      To the person who said that "guns don't kill people, people with gods do". Mao Ze Dong, Joseph Stalin, Genghis Khan...can you find me a religious leader who tops those guys? People do horrible things, they use whatever means they can to justify their actions to themselves; this doesn't make it ok.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  10. Jason

    Sounds like something from south park

    February 26, 2012 at 4:57 am |
  11. John Delaney

    CNN needs to clarify this story. It happened in Seoul, South Korea, not in the USA.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • urhavedemonsinyoutoo

      yesm CNN should "clarify" a point that is explicity stated in the story in the very first sentence...

      February 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Tex

      They already clarified it right under the headline, before the very first sentence: Seoul. Didn't say Seoul, Montana. Just Seoul. You should know geography, but most high school graduates can't even identify most U.S. states on a map.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Peter

      If you read the whole article, the first sentence states that it happened in South Korea, and the last sentence very clearly says: "the town of Boseong, more than 186 miles (300 kilometers) south of Seoul."

      February 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  12. Jokesterer

    Spare the food, spoil the child.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  13. llib

    Nothing like that good old time religion

    February 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  14. Ed

    Religion is a social disease.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Really?

      The mere fact that you feel the need to call religion a social disease shows your uneducation. I'm religious and even I know extremism is wrong. So why do you have to lump everyone together? Let's kill all white people because their ancestors tortured slaves. Let's kill all mexicans because they're too violent. Let's kill all black people because instead of uniting during a crisis, they loot. Starting to sound pretty stupid huh? So religion isn't a social disease. Uneducated people might be a social disease, but that would sound stupid too, right?

      February 27, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • christains.

      So called moderates give license to the crazy. In short, we can't tell you apart.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Gary

      religion is a drug and of course to much of any drug twist the mind....

      February 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Richard

      people like you who don't know what you're talking about and then develop a stubborn position on that ignorance are the disease

      March 1, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  15. Alexishere

    This is sickening. All major organized religion is irrational and crazy, even the 'peaceful' ones. Every time I hear or read about stories like this one I realize no matter how many computers, iPods, satellites and whatnot humankind has developed, it is still, for all intents and purposes, in the Dark Ages. Take that couple out back and put a bullet in each of their heads. On second thought, kill them exactly the way they killed their innocent children. If they're so biblically minded, they're familiar with "an eye for an eye."

    February 24, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Really?

      You never hear of Catholics doing this. Sure we got our abusive priests but even half of those cases are baloney just stirred up by parents and kids who want money and dont follow the Catholic way. Blaming any religion, though, is stupid. I mean hell, let's blame agnostics because their kids are the ones who cause school shootings and bullying. Stupid, right? RIGHT??

      February 27, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • defending catholics

      Ok... that's just plain funny. You have to take that schtick on the road. Catholics don't do this? Hilarious.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  16. Max

    We have free will because there is no god. He's just a convenient excuse for doing horrible things that our reason might see the better of. A belief in gods or demons is just as ridiculous.

    February 24, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  17. Exorcist

    Should have hired an exorcist instead.

    February 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  18. paul ziegler

    vic i doubt the three children had what you would call free will.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • djlockerthebrain

      Nobody has free will. Do you have the choice to be born? No.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  19. joe

    Oh religion, when you finally leave us.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  20. vic

    dont blame god for mans evils we all have free will.

    February 23, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • jim d.

      you can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice;
      if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice;
      you can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
      i will choose a path that's clear: i will choose free will.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • djlockerthebrain

      Nobody has the choice to be born therefore nobody has free will. You didn't consciously decide you wanted to be born, nobody asked you ad yet here you are. Explain the free will in that.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • RUSH


      February 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • TOTUS


      February 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • oldostritch

      Evil? Isn't that a figment of your imagination caused by an outmoded value system? I'm sure that pastor would be able to drone on for hours about evil, whatever that is. it's something we were told as youngsters to fight, but from what I see you must constrain those efforts to your own mental state.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:35 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.