Saturday, October 11, 2014

Taizé Community in Korea

"Today, the Taizé Community is made up of over a hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations. By its very existence, the community is a 'parable of community' that wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples.The brothers of the community live solely by their work. They do not accept donations. In the same way, they do not accept personal inheritances for themselves; the community gives them to the very poor." Words about the Taizé movement found on their web site.

On Oct. 4th over a hundred young persons, freely, gathered together in a small Protestant Church in Seoul: hearing about the gathering on Facebook, other Internet portals or by word of mouth. Catholic, Protestant  Anglican young people met together to pray and praise, making a temporary Taizé village. These young people prayed late into the evening with short hymns repeated, with prayers, silences, meditations, and sharing their faith with one another.

What makes these young people come together for no particular reason, despite their busy schedules? "They came to a place where they could pray freely."
"They are attracted to the Taizé way of praying... they wanted to share the allure of the Taizé method of praying with the Korean youth."

The origin of the Taizé prayer is from a small village of Taizé in France where 10s of thousands of young people gather every year. Those with faith and those without faith gather: 2 or 3 days if short, and if long for 2 or 3 years. They  remain in the village taking care of  their  personal needs for clothing, food and lodging, very simply, and giving praise to God.

One of the brothers who has been a member of the Taizé community in France has come to Korea on five different occasions. Brother Sin Francis, led the prayers on one of the days. This year has been a difficult year, he said, for Korea, China and  other countries of Asia, prayers are needed. They want to spread the spirit of Taizé in all of the countries of the world. They recall Brother Roger who over 70 years ago started the community with the love he showed to the refugees of the Second World War: Jews, prisoners of war, and many others who suffered. They were consoled with the prayers and the love they received within the community. 

Much time has passed but still the young people are attracted with the simple prayer life they experience at Taizé. Writing in the Peace Weekly about the community, the journalist, sees the strength that comes from prayer in the faces of the youth, and reports what he learned at the gathering. 

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