Thursday, May 3, 2012

Evangelization of Asia

The Peace Weekly editorial this week reflected on the meaning of the recent statistical report from Rome for the year 2010. The implication of the report, according to the editorial, was that Korea has to increase its efforts in the evangelization of Asia.

The number of Catholics in Asia is 3.1 percent. The countries with the largest number of Catholics are the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Korea. Four of these countries have a serious lack of energy for the work of evangelizing.
Following is a breakdown of the percentage of Catholics in the continents:

Americas 63.2 percent
Europe 39.9 percent
Oceania 26.0 percent
Africa 18.3 percent
Asia 3.1 percent

The Philippines were evangelized by the Spanish and is the only Catholic country in Asia, but it does not have the finances, atmosphere, and ease to concern itself with  the need for missions outside the country. Indian Catholics represent only 1.6 percent of the population, Indonesia only 3 percent, and Vietnam, because of the socialist system of government, has to deal with many difficulties, which leaves Korea as the only viable representative today of the Asian Church.

Korea, with 10 percent of its population Catholic, has the personnel and money to undertake the requested evangelization of Asia. Since 1990 the Vatican has been asking Korea to take more of an interest in the task of evangelizing. The Church in Asia is a small minority in a very diversified field of religions within many different cultures, and many of the Catholic communities are subject to discrimination and persecution.

Because of the small number of Christians in Asia, few have 'seen the face of Jesus.' The Korean Church has the job to go to this vast population who have not been exposed to the Christian Gospel and spread its message of joy. The editorial hopes that the dioceses with the most priests will send some of them to these countries, many of which find it difficult to get to a priest even once a year for the Sacraments.


No comments:

Post a Comment