|About the Book|
“A man with such a dramatic martyrdom and intense commitment which led to that martyrdom is worthy of becoming a legend,” says Dr. Samuel Hugh Moffett about Robert Jermain Thomas, missionary to China and Korea [1839-1866].Thomas has become legendaryMore“A man with such a dramatic martyrdom and intense commitment which led to that martyrdom is worthy of becoming a legend,” says Dr. Samuel Hugh Moffett about Robert Jermain Thomas, missionary to China and Korea [1839-1866].Thomas has become legendary in both North and South Korea: in the North he is considered enemy of empire—one who attempted to bring in American imperialism—to many in the South he is considered the first martyred Protestant missionary to Korea.The purpose of this book is not to answer the question as to whether or not the man is a martyr, but to investigate the man, Robert Jermain Thomas and attempt to answer the questions, what were the circumstances that led this man to Asia, and what was the scope and purpose of his work in China and Korea. The answers may lead readers to come to their own conclusions concerning the questions surrounding his martyrdom.Reckless, is one word that has been used to describe some of the actions of Thomas. Some may say that he was a fool, for foolish he often was, but certainly an intelligent one and one to whom spreading the gospel of Christ was more important than considerations of propriety.Thomas was a typical Welsh man, feisty, strong willed, magnetic, charismatic, yet one who would use these traits to serve others. These inherited characteristics together with his great zeal for the Gospel would, regrettably, lead to a life cut off, unexpectedly and tragically.This story traces the Welsh influences on Thomas’ life, his labor in the mission field in both China and Korea and explores the human drama moving beyond his life to the effects of his martyrdom on the future of Christendom in Korea. It is hoped that this story will be interesting and helpful to future men and women of faith who strive to follow Christ.