The United Nations rates South Korea as East Asia’s most developed country; Bloomberg rates it as the world’s most innovative country. The church is very strong after decades of rapid growth in the 20th century, and South Korea is very active in sending missions personnel abroad. TLM’s involvement in South Korea goes back to the building of the first Christian Leprosy Home there, in 1910, rapidly followed by two more homes, the second of which was in Daegu, in the centre of the country. This was a large operation with a peak of around 700 residents by the mid-1960s.
Daegu remains the centre of TLM’s operations. Although there are very few new cases of leprosy detected each year in South Korea, there are still many elderly people living with leprosy-related disabilities. Some continue to live in leprosy rehabilitation villages, isolated from mainstream communities. TLM Korea runs the Jesus Hospital in Daegu, which specialises in dermatology services and any cases of leprosy, and an adjacent, well-appointed 80-bed nursing home for elderly people with disabilities including those caused by leprosy. TLM Korea also provides other forms of support to elderly leprosy-affected people in the community and raises prayer support within South Korea for TLM’s work worldwide.
TLM’s country leader in South Korea is Jaewoong Choi.