Life of Korean Missionary Included in South Sudanese Textbooks

  • By Shon Jin-seok

    November 16, 2018 12:11

    Lee Tae-seok

    Stories of Father Lee Tae-seok, a Catholic priest and doctor who devoted his life to helping children in South Sudan, will be included in school textbooks there.

    Primary and high school students in the poverty-stricken nation will study the life of Lee, who touched the hearts of many South Sudanese before he died of cancer in 2010. His story was introduced through a documentary called "Don't Cry for Me, Sudan" in 2010.

    Local media reported on Wednesday that South Sudan's Education Ministry published new textbooks that include lessons on Lee's life, and the textbooks will be distributed to schools early next year for use.

    The textbooks feature his pictures together with accounts about how Lee decided to become a Catholic priest after graduating from medical school, and volunteered to serve as a missionary in South Sudan.

    Lee was ordained as a priest in Seoul in 2001, and settled in Tonj, South Sudan, the same year. After witnessing outbreaks of malaria, cholera and leprosy there, Lee built a mud-hut clinic to treat patients. He also set up a school for children.

    But his health was deteriorating, and during a visit to Korea in November 2008 he was diagnosed with terminal stage of colorectal cancer and succumbed to the disease in January 2010.

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