KOSTU (Korean Students in the UK)

Service Time: Every Tuesday 6.30pm – 7.00pm Prayer meeting, 7.30pm – 9.30pm Worship & Service
Kostu Address: Raynes Park Methodist Church, Worple Road, London, SW20 8ET
Contact Tel: 07950 496906

Kostu marked its 9th anniversary on Tuesday, 28th October in the same way that it had marked every Tuesday 50 weeks of each year for the past 9 years. A service will take place where youth from various churches across London and England will gather with the common objective of worshipping God. KOSTU (an acronym for Korean Students in the UK) has been a place of service and worship for many Korean Christian youth for the last 9 years. Numerous Korean and also English students studying and living in London have for 9 years come and been a part of the KOSTU movement based on an ideology of being one in serving Christ through their youth. Whilst many churches and religious organizations become more and more redundant in modern society, KOSTU has endured and lasted for a long time through the passion and determination of the students who are part of it.
Through worship and prayer, many young youth, mostly living away from their native country and family were able to gain strength and comfort through the grace of God. Initially founded with the aim of empowering 2nd generation Korean youth with the Gospel before they place themselves in society. Students from all walks of life have come to London and through the KOSTU meeting found a vision and meaningful path in their life which they have pursued in to their various careers and professions.
At present a service is held every Tuesday where Christian youth come and join in energetic and active worship, with a vision of serving the community and poorer regions of the world. At a time where hatred and diversity in the world separates race and culture, causing war and atrocities not just in places that we see on the news, but in hidden parts of the world that do not get as much exposure as Iraq and Afghanistan, KOSTU prays for the brothers, sisters and governments in these regions. An example of this were the recent deaths of many Christians in the Indian region of Orissa where people were persecuted and killed for their faith and belief. To date, around 142 churches have been burnt or ravaged by Hindu extremists using religion as an excuse to solve political and economic disputes. A nun was reportedly raped by 9 men in front of the local priest and in another instance a disabled boy had petrol doused over him and set alight for being a Christian. Due to such cases, more than 50,000 Christians were displaced from their homes and took shelter in wretched refugee camps where further atrocities followed.
The Christians had to endure attempted forced conversions by relief workers in these refugee camps whilst being told that they wouldn’t be able to return to their homes, and in some instances threatened with the possibility of not seeing their families again unless they converted back to Hinduism. More shocking was that not a single news channel chose to broadcast these events in the mainstream news.
Therefore through no fault of their own, the British public remains unawares of the persecution and hatred that exist outside Afghanistan or Iraq where there are no British soldiers or politicians being killed. As it is clearly evident, no political or human intervention has been able to prevent or stop these killings, partly due to the fact that in most cases it is exactly those entities that caused the problems. Though not able to have a political or economical influence on these matters, through submission and faith to God, KOSTU prays for these countries where the compassion and love of God is most needed. Whilst celebrating its 9th anniversary, a growing need for a change in direction has been realised in KOSTU whereby following the purpose and principles of the life of Christ, serving all regardless to race, gender or belief is needed to spread the true love and compassion of God.
Going forward with a vision of unity amongst Christians from all races, KOSTU hopes to network with Christian youth from various minority groups with the aim of making a positive change in society. As the great warrior Ghengis Khan once demonstrated to his sons, “one arrow can easily broken, but many arrows are indestructible” – unity amongst minorities can bring strength and achieve the unachievable. Through fellowship with various Christian groups, KOSTU hopes to be able to play a small part in a bigger vision of overcoming racial barriers in serving with other minority groups as one people in Christ.
While being a non profitable and wholly voluntary youth movement, KOSTU aims to begin a new chapter in their history by being free of any cultural and religious traditions and branching out to non-Korean Christian groups for unified worship and service. By doing so, the hope is not to build a big church or new age Christian movement, but simply to bridge the gap between Christians from different nations and cultures. Using Korean Christians as a good example, 99% of mainstream Korean churches cater only for Korean people, however declare a compassion and love for other nations. Though not malicious or unethical in any way, it is difficult not to sense any hypocrisy in the racial barriers that exist in the churches today, taking in to consideration that we live in one of the most diverse communities in the world. Maybe more important to remember is the fact that it is the seed of those very same racial and religious stereotypes and barriers, albeit in a more concentrated and radical form, that bore fruit which raped an innocent nun and saw 50,000 people displaced from their homes fleeing in fear that they may be killed due to their faith. We at KOSTU pray that the love and humbleness of God can be spread between all the nations through respect, understanding and true compassion for all our brothers and sisters, regardless of colour and creed.

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