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. Incredible Income Generating Power Behind what are backlinks

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    July 24, 2012 at 5:31 am |
  2. viking

    Overeating only a din if your Catholic. Most Christians don't follow.the Catholic rules. Catholics don't even belive in Jesus. Get your facts straight before ya say anything. This is what gives real Christians a bad name.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • duckforcover

      Are you so totally brainwashed that you believe Catholics aren't Christians? Jim says, "Drink your kool-aid."

      March 15, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • viking is stupid

      1. You can't even spell sin correctly.
      2. Where on earth did you get the idea that Catholics don't believe in Jesus....you are completely wrong.
      3. This story has absolutely nothing to do with Catholicism. Catholic Pastors do not marry, therefore they would not have a wife and children.
      4. These people were just crazy...religious or not, they were nuts..

      March 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • JimboTron5K

      Wow, dude. I'm an atheist and somehow you've managed to get me on the Catholics' side! Catholics don't believe in Jesus? REALLY? I'm afraid you need to cite a source before you spout drivel like that, or else not only will no one believe you, they'll think you're crazy as well. And don't try to tell us that "you don't care what people think" because if that were true, you never would have posted on here in the first place. And also, if you're going to cite the Bible as evidence that "Catholics don't believe in Jesus," you're going to also have to cite chapter and verse. But I already know that you cannot, because that ain't in the Bible. If it were, there would be no Catholic Church. Last time I looked, The Church was still alive and kicking.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • TPinLA

      Christians don't have any idea what their history is, so they spout drivel like "Catholics don't believe in Jesus." I'm not even a Catholic, and yet . . . I'm sorry, I can't get over how stupid American Christians are . . .The Catholic church is the founding Christian Church based in Rome. From the Christian church spouted two forms of Christianity, the Greek Orthodox version (based in Constantinople, now Istanbul) and Catholicism. The beginnings of the Protestant Church sprouted from Martin Luther, a Catholic. The Anglican Church was sprouted by the need for King Henry VII, who wanted a divorce so created a protestant religion with himself as the head (and also branched into the Methodist). Henry was also a catholic. All Western Christian beliefs stemmed from the Catholic church. Why are American Evangelical Christians so stupid?

      March 16, 2012 at 4:15 am |
  3. Angela

    Let me guess, the devil made them do it.
    So Sad, R.I.P Little ones and know that these psycho's will never hurt you again!

    March 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • csam18

      No.. in this case, it was God who made them do it. They did it to "ward" off the evil spirits. Sigh.. please just throw them both into a trash compactor and call it a day.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  4. My Bad

    For some reason I thought this was a Rick Santorum story...

    March 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  5. doris lazarski

    ... there it is, religion again. And Santorum thinks that is what we need, more Jesus in our life....right.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Witness

      Find me the scripture where Jesus tortures and starves children. He didn't starve and beat any of the people he helped. He didn't even lift a finger against those who, like you, told lies about him and tortured and killed him. Last time I read the good book I'm sure it condemned murder and violence, and it was Jesus that described that golden rule to treat others the way you would want them to treat you...I wouldn't enjoy being starved and beaten...If these people were actual followers of Jesus they would have followed his example. I keep hoping religious opposers would gain the common sense to distinguish between truth and lies instead of contributing to the spread of lies by publicizing their ignorance and lack of real bible knowledge all over the place, but I'll always be disappointed. Just study the book. Whether to follow his example or not is a personal choice everyone gets to make, but at least make an informed choice, knowing who Jesus actually was, and what he actually did and is doing, and not assuming the the over 44,000 Christian denominations are all telling the truth – not even logical since they are all saying different things, and the Bible says God's people would be united. Read the book. Jesus helped "open up the scriptures" and his people will do the same today. Who are his people? Read the book and find out, don't take someones word for it. If someone described President Obama as a Norse female tatoo artist would you then go around repeating it to people and expect to be praised for your intelligence and listened to? Get the facts first.

      March 14, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  6. iwish

    Wow! I knew a guy in Korea with the name Park – hope it wasn't him.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:04 am |
  7. mickey1313

    Hang them both, or douse them in gasoline and set them on fire.

    March 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • CallingBS

      Yep, you're going right to heaven Micky...

      March 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  8. david

    sounds like a cult. the Bible does not say over eating is a sin- that is a made up old wives tale. cutting off the hair to ward off devils is cultic, not christian so he was not a practicing christian at all.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Um david, over-eating not a sin? GLUTONY you ignorant pr**k. But then again all thiests are ignorant of there own beliefs. It is the only way to stay thiestic, is to ignore all facts and information and listen only to your priest (cleric rabi all the same)

      March 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • ericka

      Actually the bible does say over eating is a sin....it does not excuse ignorant parents tho....

      March 13, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • CallingBS

      Nothing in this article said they were Christians sounds like something one would do, but the article didn't say they were.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • csam18

      It's good to see Mickey who's obviously under the lords wing, insulting others with childish name callings.. yeah, you're totally showing how good religious folks are. It's sad that religious people don't see how much of a sheep they are. Keep believing in the invisible man in the sky, and reading the "good" book. Meanwhile, keep restricting yourself to the gift of life by appeasing your God. Sad sad people.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  9. Yakobi

    See? Religion = crazy.

    BTW, there is NO WAY all 3 would have died within 5 hours of each other from "starvation". These evil people must have outright killed their children by some other method.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Army Gal

      I am surprised this is in the religion blog. These parents committed a criminal act. It seems to be in vogue that when someone does something criminal and seems to believe in a particular faith system we should blame the faith system. What do we blame when an atheist murders someone? Surely we cannot blame their atheism.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Angela

      I agree with you on that. No way, they each died within a couple of hours of each other.

      March 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Shazzam

      Most likely they really had an actual illness. Poor kids, instead of being comforted and nursed back to health...

      March 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • JimboTron5K

      Saw someone suggest that this story should not be in the "Religion" section, because when atheists kill people, they don't put it in the Religion section. I disagree. If an atheist killed some Christians, and the crime was religiously motivated, I'm positive that you would find it in the Religious section because the VICTIMS would have been Christian. I'm not suggesting that atheists are above committing murder, obviously we have our crazies like every group does. But I cannot recall any story where a married atheist couple deliberately murdered their own children because their children weren't good enough atheists.

      But even if that DID happen, atheism is not a religion, so why would they put an atheist crime in the religion section? Religion is the belief and acceptance of a supernatural power as a moral center, and atheism is PRECISELY NOT THAT. It is illogical to create a forced parallel between them. Religious people don't get to put their "un-reason" on the shelf next to my "reason." Their "un-reason" goes on that shelf over there, next to Zeus and Thor and Ra.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  10. Whateva

    The outcome of being clueless, The bible vs logical theology, Yes, twisting faith into self serving religious ideal and then placing it in the hands of primitive reasoning will always enforce an authoritarian ignorance that leads to this foolishness. I disapprove and I have no doubt that the imminent mind agrees.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • CallingBS

      Megachurch, bible belt, catholic church+men (clergy) = the mean greedy leading the weak minded...

      March 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
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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.