Monday, May 12, 2014

Subway Preacher

A subway evangelist on the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, Line 1 heading toward Cheonan.
The man was not drunk, nor was he selling anything. Both of those I have encountered before. But I believe this suited and well-groomed man, who stood at one end of a long subway car for fifteen minutes, talking incessantly to an inattentive audience, was the first subway preacher I've seen in my two years here.

He was loud, but not aggressive. At first, I tried listening to figure out what he was saying, but all I could catch were the names 하나님 (Hananim/God) and 예수 (Yesu/Jesus). As I was standing behind him, I took a few shots with my camera. All the other subway passengers focused intently on their books or phones; only one or two heads turned his way occassionally, embarrassed. When he was finished, he shrugged his large knapsack off of the overhead baggage shelf and walked straight into the next adjoining car.

In a 2012 survey conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, the public nuisance that subway passengers disliked the most on their commute was "propogation of religion", followed by intoxicated passengers.

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