ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - Missionary month of October looking towards North Korea and laity as chief agents in the Church’s mission

Friday, 1 October 2004

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - “Support for missionary activity, with prayer, sacrifice and material offerings is important because it helps sustain and nourish the whole Church” Bishop Joseph Kyeong Kap-ryong, President of the Korean Bishops’ Commission for evangelisation said in a special message for the missionary month of October, adding “Each of us is called to carry the Good News of salvation to everyone, everywhere”.
The Bishop also voiced the local Church’s concern for the spread of false doctrines New Age, Danjeon, Zen. Warning the faithful to reject other spiritual practices, which have nothing to do with Christianity, he urged them to rediscover the means of salvation and spiritual traditions which are the patrimony of thousands of years of Christianity. “We must recognise that God revealed himself in his Son Jesus Christ and through the working of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ brings salvation with the Father and the Spirit” the Bishop said
Recently a group of 170 priests in Seoul archdiocese responded to a call to evangelise and decided to go to work in a poor diocese in Uijongbu, which borders on North Korea. The priests will minister in this under-developed region with one eye on North Korea a land in need of evangelisation where Catholics in the south long to carry the joy of the Word of God.
Korea’s lay movements are aware of their responsibility for mission. In a recent letter the Bishops urged the laity to strengthen their lay spirituality in order to meet the challenges of materialism, hedonism, secularisation, indifference to religious values. Another problem for the Church in Korea is the proliferation of religious sects and groups like New Age. The matter was among those discussed recently by the Bishops' Conference, when the Bishops underlined the role of the laity to help people to recognise the truth, which exists in the true Church. Through living as authentic Christians, making the Gospel the measure of decisions and behaviour they will be leaven in society.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 1/10/2004 lines 34 words 350)