Korea, for many years has been a leader in sending missioners to other countries, and most of them would be Protestants, but Catholic numbers are beginning to grow. A Catholic Times article reports that the Church began in earnest sending their members overseas in the 1980s: the Korean Foreign Mission Society sent three missioners to Papua New Guinea in 1981, Jeon Ju diocese sent priests to South America, and religious orders sent men to missions.
Benedictines sent two men to the Philippines, the Korean Foreign
Mission society in 1990 sent three missioners to Taiwan-- not only
religious and priests but also laypeople. The
Columban Missionary Society sent a team of laypeople to the
Philippines in 1990. The Columban Mission Society, each year in their
missionary formation programs, educate and send missioners to
different parts of the world.
In Asia there are many
Koreans who are working in difficult situations. According to the figures
from the Vatican in 2009 there were 316 Koreans in 20 different
countries, and in 2014 there were 385 missioners
in 21 countries: 225 in 17 countries of the Americas, and 79 in 20 countries
of Africa. In Asia the largest number of Asians
working on the Catholic mission field would be from Korea.
Asian missioners have learned a great deal from the missioners of the
West and in their 40 years on the mission have learned by trial and
error, and the mistakes made by the missioners in history.
usually go to the poor and marginalized peoples of the world. They
work with the handicapped, women, children, young people in education
programs. In these impoverished areas devastated by natural disasters,
war and tribal disputes, they bring medical help, welfare, and aid to better their lives with a new value system and hope for the future.
Columban Sister has been in Myanmar for 11 years. She is helping them to
discover God and giving them a way of life that comes from the
teachings of Jesus. They are seeing results from their labors. They have
seen those moved by the missioners and have decided to
Missioners need a good education to
overcome the many difficulties they find in the mission
field. It is the same continent but many
cultures, religions, and languages. One priest wants the missioners to ask themselves how much do they know about Asia. There is a
need to know the culture, the histories and to begin dialogue between the
religions and work to incluturate.
Mission in the future may be working
with the atheists and unbelievers whose numbers continue to increase and believers decrease. Life has meaning-- may be the clarion call of the missioner to those who trusted in themselves and what they could see and touch, and found that it sapped their energies and
left them without hope. Missioners will have the need to evangelize themselves to bring hope to the many who have lost a reason for living, less in Asia, but numbers continue to increase.