South Korean pastor's 'baby drop box' featured in viral video

Published: Friday, Jan. 10 2014 5:35 p.m. MST

Pastor Lee Jong-Rak has become well known for his efforts to save abandoned children.

Vimeo screenshot

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The online video “The Drop Box” is getting more attention than ever before this week, despite being released more than a year ago.

The video, posted to Vimeo in May 2012, has received 4.4 million views, but 4 million of them have come in this week.

It is a trailer for the upcoming documentary film about Lee Jong-Rak, a pastor in South Korea. The documentary won the 2013 Best of Festival at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and the 2013 Sanctity of Life award at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.

Lee's experience giving his all to children began with his son, who was born with a large cyst on his cheek that required a risky operation. When the procedure was through, his son had cerebral palsy. His family spent 14 years waiting for the boy to be discharged from the hospital, and Lee earned the name “lover of the unlovable” throughout the hospital.

Because his reputation, a dying woman begged him to take her disabled daughter. He took orphans from the hospital. And on a cold night, a woman left her daughter outside Lee’s home. The child almost froze to death, and Lee believed something had to change, so he created “the drop box” to try to save the babies who otherwise could die on streets.

“They’re not the unnecessary ones in the world. God sent them here for a purpose,” Lee says in the video.

The box is not the first of its kind. According to the BBC, baby drop boxes were present in medieval Europe and have returned to society over the past decade.

A CBS News article says the boxes have been found in Europe, Japan and even the U.S., and a 2013 BBC article discusses the boxes coming to Shenzhen, China.

The uprising of the boxes has brought controversy. Some people say the concept avoids ethical, legal and emotional issues.

"Those opposed to the idea say it will indulge irresponsible parents to give away their unwanted child,”according to People’s Daily.

Kevin Browne, a psychologist from Nottingham University, shared his fears for the baby boxes of Europe in a BBC article.

“The baby hatch is so anonymous, and so removed from the availability of counseling, that it creates a damage and a danger to the mother and child."

BBC continues, “On this argument, by making it so easy to get rid of a baby, mothers are less likely to get the real help they need in their situation of great emotional trauma and even physical risk.”

However, response on Twitter to “The Drop Box” seems positive.

Alison Moore is a writer for the Faith and Family sections at DeseretNews.com. She is working toward a bachelor's degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in editing at Brigham Young University.

EMAIL: amoore@deseretdigita

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