SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — A Jehovah’s Witness who objected military service based on his religious faith has been convicted for violation of the Military Service Act.
The grounds for the guilty verdict was that he previously enjoyed playing online shooting games, killing other gamers without feeling any pangs of conscience.
For the man who was indicted for violation of the Military Service Act, the Supreme Court confirmed on Monday the original sentence of 10 months in jail with a stay of execution for two years.
He became a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Aug. 2006, but had not engaged in religious activities since Aug. 2009.
Starting from Oct. 2012, he received the notice of military enlistment several times but continuously delayed his military service until Dec. 2017. Until then, he didn’t present his religious faith as the reason for delaying his military service.
However, when he received the notice of military enlistment again in Aug. 2018, he objected once again, this time citing his religious faith as the reason.
On September of the same year, he abruptly started studying the Bible and resumed his religious activity for the first time in nine years.
His abrupt about-face came two months after the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the introduction of the alternative military duty system for conscientious objectors of military service.
The first trial court judged that he attempted to avoid military service by abusing the ruling of the Constitutional Court even without having strong enough faith in the religion to object to military service.
It also pointed out that his previous experiences of being punished seven times for intimidation and drunken driving without a license stood against the principles of the Bible.
The court also interpreted his statement that his conscience didn’t respond when he played shooting games as evidence that he was not faithful in his religion.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)