As the Communists were advancing on Soonchun, Korea, where Tongin and Tongsin lived, these Christian brothers decided not to flee. They had already been expelled from school for refusing to bow down to Shinto shrines and they remained determined to stand firm, despite friends urging them to leave.
One September morning in 1948 the brothers rose early to pray together. They were set upon by a group of Communist students who started beating up Tongin, the elder boy. When Tongsin tried to help his brother, the students turned on him. Tongin would not deny his faith and the leader of the students, Ahn Chae Sun, prepared to shoot him. Tongsin again tried to put himself between Ahn and his brother, but was pulled away. Tongin was blindfolded then shot; Tongsin threw himself on his brother’s body and was also shot.
The deaths were met with a truly remarkable act of grace by Tongin and Tongsin’s father, Sohn Yangoon, who would also go on to be martyred for his faith.
Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.
William Cowper (1731-1800)
First published in Heroes of Our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo, Isaac Publishing