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The first Protestant missionary martyr in Korea was Robert Jermain Thomas (1839-1866), a Welsh missionary with the London Missionary Society. In 1863 he went to Beijing and there met two Korean traders who told him about the Catholic converts who had no Bibles. Thomas became an representative of the Scottish Bible Society and travelled to Korea to sell Bibles.

Later he found a job as an interpreter on the armed American schooner, the General Sherman. As the boat travelled around Korea, Thomas handed out Bibles. When the boat became involved in a fire-fight with the Korean army near Pyongyang, Thomas jumped overboard with his Bibles and handed them out to the angry crowd on the river bank.

The Korean authorities ordered people to destroy their Bibles. But instead some used them as wallpaper. In time Korean people read their wallpaper and some came to believe in Jesus. When other missionaries later arrived, they found a Church already in existence.

The seed was sown (message in the wallpaper) it entered people’s hearts and minds, and a Church was formed.

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