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Political Developments Following the Korean Revival



Following the revival great political developments took place in the country that eventually greatly impacted the work going on. Missionaries remained at their posts regardless of what was going on, and at least temporarily were allowed to continue working, and increasing numbers of Koreans joined the church. With the end of the war and the annexation of Japan, things continued to go forward positively for a time.

The first narrative, written in 1910 was written while things were still going forward positively. Articles and chapters coming later attest to changing conditions.—Dan


Japanese Annexation of Korea

Jones' Account of 1910

Russo-Japanese War

The first decade of the twentieth century has been crowded with notable events in Korea. Chief among these in its wide reaching consequences has been the war between Japan and Russia. Korea was the precipitating cause of that gigantic struggle, and within the territories of Korea the first battles, both on land and sea, took place. During the course of the war, the missionaries remained at their posts, and though the work for a short time during the passage of the army through Korea was disturbed, soon the storm of war passed across the Yalu, and the workers became free to carry on with uninterrupted diligence the work of the Christian Church. One effect of the war was apparently to greatly increase the number of Koreans coming into the church, and a harvest eclipsing anything in the previous history of the mission was garnered.

Annexed To Japan

The war was followed by the establishment of the Japanese Protectorate over Korea introducing a new political status. The far-reaching measures of reform undertaken by the Protectorate Power have inevitably affected the relations of missionary work. The Protectorate came to an end August 29, when the formal annexation of Korea to Japan was officially promulgated by the Emperors of Japan and Korea. By the terms of the annexation treaty all sovereignty over the Korean people passes to the Japanese government and Korea becomes an integral part of the Empire of Japan. The Korean Imperial House, though losing all governing prerogative, retains its organization and the Emperor takes the title of Prince Yi, with the same civil list he had while reigning—$750,000 annually. A Korean peerage, with titles of prince, marquis, count, viscount, and baron, is created, which will probably stand related to the Japanese peerage somewhat as the Scotch and English peerages are related. Interest-bearing government bonds, estimated at yen 17,000,000 ($8,500,000) and nontransferable, are to be distributed among the newly created Korean peers to provide incomes suitable to their rank. Korean treaties cease to be operative, and foreigners residing in Korea come under the provisions of the treaties between Japan and the nations. During these rapid and far-reaching changes the missionaries have kept consistently to the great lines of moral reform, concededly their special province, so that the relations between the new government and the Churches in Korea have moved on without friction. One of the most notable results of this new arrangement has been the incorporation of the very extensive system of Christian schools into the government educational scheme, leading to a good understanding between the missions and the imperial government. It is a significant fact that the department of state for education has listed the Christian Bible as an approved text-book, and any school in Korea may pursue courses of study in it.

Taken from Korea Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church by George Heber Jones, (New York: Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1910), 55-57.