US Army Chapel Christian Preschool May be Shuttered

A Stars and Stripes article describes a fairly unusual situation at the US Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, South Korea, in which a Christian preschool is run by an Army chapel:

Garrison officials say a recent anonymous complaint prompted them to look at whether the Mustard Seed Preschool has been operating illegally since it opened in 1976. They have determined that the Army had the authority to establish a chapel-sponsored preschool but found no regulations explaining how to do so, according to Yongsan commander Col. Michael Masley.

In an interesting arrangement, “donations” are collected by the chapel and deposited into the Chapel Tithes and Offerings Fund.  There isn’t technically a “cost” to the preschool.

Apparently, religion has nothing to do with the Army’s decision, and it’s not technically illegal.  The problem isn’t that it violates regulations — it’s that there aren’t any regulations governing it.

“We have no reason to believe that they’ve done anything wrong or any reason to be concerned that they shouldn’t be here watching our kids,” Masley said.

The primary concern of families is that local options are cost-prohibitive but could be the required if the Mustard Seed preschool is suddenly closed. Its director notes it has operated for 30 years without concerns and — by all appearances — legally, implying a year or two more (at which point the base will close anyway) would be moot.