Obituary: Moon Hye-rim, 86, Women’s Rights Activist

Moon was an advocate for sex workers near the US army bases in South Korea.

Obituary: Moon Hye-rim, 86, Women’s Rights Activist

Photo: Moon Hye-rim.  Credit: Moon Yeong-mi.

The US-born activist Harriet Faye Pinchbeck, better known to Koreans as Moon Hye-rim 문혜림, passed away on March 11 in New Jersey. Moon was the wife of pastor Moon Dong-hwan 문동환, the younger brother of the famed pastor Moon Ik-hwan 문익환 who is known for his activism in inter-Korean reconciliation.

Having met her husband while attending a graduate school of theology in Hartford, Connecticut, Moon married and relocated to Seoul in 1961. In Seoul, Moon operated a counseling center for US soldiers with substance abuse issues while supporting her husband and brother-in-law’s battle against the Park Chung-hee 박정희 dictatorship by publicizing their fight internationally.

In 1986, Moon founded Durebang 두레방 in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do Province 경기도 의정부 near Camp Stanley Army Base, which grew into a leading advocacy group for sex workers servicing US soldiers stationed in South Korea. After splitting time between US and South Korea since 1992, Moon relocated to New Jersey in 2019 after her husband passed away.

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