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What's expected from the Pope's visit to South Korea?

2014-04-14

Pope Francis has officially announced that he will visit South Korea in August. It will be for Asian Youth Day, where thousands of young adults from that very country, will come together to learn more about their faith and how to live it on a daily basis. 

FR. DON JONG-SU JOHN KIM
Rector, Pontifical Korean College (Rome) 
"It's not easy for Koreans to find stability right now or even employment. So even though not all of them may go to church, they're all looking for a role model and a Church that understands them.” 

About 10 percent of the population is Catholic, making it the third most popular faith in South Korea. First is Buddhism, followed by protestant denominations. Fr. Kim says all of them are eager to welcome Pope Francis for the first time. 

FR. DON JONG-SU JOHN KIM
Rector, Pontifical Korean College (Rome) 
"Korea is looking forward to this visit. In fact, Koreans are hoping he will promote peace and justice in the country, but also internationally between North and South Korea.” 

As part of the visit, the Pope will preside over the beatification ceremony of South Korea's first martyr, Pablo Yun Ji -chung. He will be beatified along with 123 of his late colleagues who gave their life for their faith. 

FR. DON JONG-SU JOHN KIM
Rector, Pontifical Korean College (Rome)
"They first introduced Catholicism in Korea because they thought it was a type of Western science, or topic, so to speak. But once they started studying it, they found their faith.” 

In the past 25 years,  the number of Catholics in South Korea has increased from three million to roughly five million people. 


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