Friday, July 22, 2011

P'yŏngyang and Presbyterians?

A report that a certain "Lee Sang-myun, president of Cheonji-ilbo, an online religious daily, [had] said the North has been classified as a country to repress religious activities and in the South, the minority Protestant denominations have been repressed by the bigger denominations" — Both Koreas ‘curtail religious activities’.

The story also mentions one "Park Gwang-seo, co-representative of the Korea Institute for Religious Freedom, [who] cited Protestant students who prayed for the destruction of a Buddhist temple, Protestants’ aggressive or threatening mission activities, and door-to-door visits to spread the word."

Such a comparison is, of course, utter nonsense. Mr. Park "suggested the first step toward religious harmony be to acknowledge difference." I suggest he "acknowledge [the] difference" between his half of the country and the north. There is a world of difference between "door-to-door visits to spread the word" and midnight knocks on the door.

One interesting connection is that North Korea's Eternal President of the Republic, Kim Il-sung, "claims he was raised in a Presbyterian family, that his maternal grandfather was a Protestant minister, that his father had gone to a missionary school and was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and that his parents were very active in the religious community."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.