Friday, July 22, 2016
Mission of Korean Church Towards China
Catholic Times of Korea recently, with a Catholic publishing company in China, had a symposium in which they discussed the role of Korea in the evangelization of Asia. Pope Francis in his trip to Korea in 2014 asked the Korea Church to take a lead in this project and again in the gathering of the young people he made the same request.
Catholicism in Korea has grown rapidly and it is now time to share this gift with the rest of Asia.The two publishing companies in the symposium discussed the methods, problems, and the reality of the situation. The recent edition of the Times wrote up the results of the symposium for the readers.
63 percent of the world's population lives in Asia. China and India have over one billion population each, and seven other countries with over 100 million are in Asia. The Catholic population of Asia is 140 million which is 3% of the total and if we subtract the Philippines we have only 1% of the population Catholic. If we look at East Asia we have 20% of the gross domestic product of the world and 25% of the population.
However, looking at the area from another angle we have over 900 million who live in dire poverty. For these people, the Gospel is to eat. In Asia, we have many areas where the freedom of religion is not respected and in certain areas the inability even to ascertain the human rights' condition of the citizens. The task for the Church involves many difficulties and the carrying of the cross and yet it is a vineyard that can't be ignored. Pope Francis has expressed his wish to visit China, in his trip to Korea, flying over Chinese air space.
The presentation by the Chinese representative showed the many difficult implications of the task. Use is made of the Internet with conscience and in a public way to transfer information. Using the press, books, magazines the usual mass media is nearly impossible, but the internet does allow the opportunity to meet Christians and unbelievers.
Since the social revolution of 1949, religion is controlled by the 'three self-policies': self-governing, self-propagating and recruiting, in a word, no outside control of the church. With this proviso, they understand freedom of religion. This includes the appointment of bishops with no outside interference, even though there has been approval of some of the appointments by Rome.
The conclusion of the article makes clear that one of the ways of evangelization and spreading of religious knowledge in China is by means of the Internet. This is the way the light of the Gospel can be circulated in China. The Korean Church has to endure this cross in spreading the teaching of Christ in the present reality.