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Asia

2012-01-27

ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - Faith is an anchor for the young, in times of crisis and unemployment

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - The Christian faith is a point of reference for young Koreans, and is for them a firm anchorage in difficult times of economic crisis, unemployment, social unrest. This is what emerges from a recent study on the theme "The life of faith of the young", conducted by the Commission for Youth Pastoral of the Episcopal Conference of Korea. As reported to Fides by the President of the Commission, Mgr. Peter Lee Ki-heon, the research conducted a survey on young people’s life of faith, interviewing 91 thousand students who attend Catholic schools in 15 dioceses in Korea.
The survey, explains the Bishop, "is important because it is the first of its kind: the results will be useful to better define the programs of youth Pastoral". The questions concerned four areas: personal life, family life, school and social life.
The results show that young people have a positive attitude towards faith and have good understanding of the fundamental teachings of the Church. On the other hand, the results suggest that the family has a great influence on young people’s life of faith. Some of those interviewed stated that their faith helps them in their studies and also in the attitude towards social problems.
The young Koreans in fact live the period of crisis and tackle the problem of growing unemployment. The unemployment rate among young people (20-30 years of age) affects 6.7%, much higher than the national average which is 2.9%. We have to take into consideration that it is a difficult moment for young people (especially for graduates who cannot get into the world of work), note sources of Fides, it is witnessed by the success of Professor Kim Nan-do’s book of Seoul University, entitled "The youth is suffering", which sold over 1.3 million copies in 2011.
Young Koreans express dissatisfaction, discontent, frustration for this situation, especially in politics. In this context, "faith in Christ helps to have a vision of hope and blessing of life", concludes the Bishop. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 27/01/2012)

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