25 April 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia
  •    - China
  •    - Hong Kong
  •    - Japan
  •    - Macau
  •    - North Korea
  •    - South Korea
  •    - Taiwan


  • » 05/25/2007, 00.00

    KOREA

    North Korean Martyrs, the first process for beatification gets underway

    Joseph Yun Li-sun

    The announcement was made yesterday by the Order of St. Benedict from Waegwan Abbey south Korea, which has ecclesial jurisdiction over the abbey Tokwon, in the North. There are 36 Martyrs, who died in the communist death camps during the persecution of Kim Il-sung.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – The process for the beatification of 36 North Korean Servants of God, who accepted martyrdom in the face of demands they renounce their faith during the Stalinist regime of Kim Il-sung, between 1949 and 1952 has opened.

    The announcement was made by the Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey in South Korea which exercises ecclesial jurisdiction over the North Korean Abbacy of Tokwon.

    According to Abbot Simon Petro Ri Hyeong-u, Apostolic Administrator of Territorial Abbacy of Tokwon, “At the moment, the community of Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey is full of aspiration to honour the witness of faith shown by our predecessors. Hereby, this abbey announces that it will play the role of 'actor' in the case for promoting the beatification and canonization”.

    The initiative also has to some extent a “political” value.  Upon till now, in fact the Seoul government has always exerted its influence to avoid the commemoration of these martyrs in order not to provoke a “diplomatic incident” with the present regime, led by Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-sung’s son.

    The process is entitled “beatification Abbot Bishop Boniface Sauer (O.S.B.), Fr. Benedict Kim (O.S.B.) and companions”. These men underlines Sabas Lee Seong-geun (vice-postulator for the cause), “all died in the North Korean communist death camps during that terrible wave of anti-Catholic persecution after the communists came to power.  We remember them together because in some way they are all linked to the Tokwon Abbey”.

    At present, the Catholic Church in North Korea is in appalling conditions. Since the end of the civil war in 1953, the three local ecclesiastical jurisdictions and the whole Catholic community have been brutally wiped out by the Stalinist regime. Not a single local priest has been left alive and all foreign clergymen have been expelled. In the early years of persecution by Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s first dictator, an estimated 300,000 Catholics have vanished.

    There are neither resident priests nor ecclesial structures.  Thus following the erection of the first Orthodox Church in the capital last August, the Catholic Community is the only one not to have a minister for the faith.  

     According to Vatican sources, actual Catholics number 800, far fewer than the 3,000 recently acknowledged by the government. The so-called North Korean Catholic Association, an organisation created and run by the regime, claims to represent local Catholics. The Holy See has always discouraged visits by its leaders to Rome since there are still serious doubts about their legal and canonical status. There are strong suggestions that they are Communist Party officials, not Catholics.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    09/12/2004 SOUTH KOREA - NORTH KOREA
    Both North and South consecrated to the Immaculate Virgin, says Bishop of Seoul

    During yesterday's solemn ceremony, Archbishop Nicholas Cheong spoke for the first time about the situation in North Korea urging everyone to pray for its people.



    21/03/2008 DAY OF THE MARTYRS
    The Easter of the Martyrs
    This year, the day in memory of missionary martyrs coincides with Easter Monday. In the splendour of the paschal mystery we remember the necessity of sacrifice, the sacrifice of Christ and that of his followers, a sign that truth and love have not abandoned earth.

    13/02/2004 north korea - china
    North Korean refugees convert to Christianity


    21/03/2008 DAY OF THE MARTYRS
    ". . .for you and for all ", the Christian martyrs killed in 2007
    On March 24, the anniversary of the killing of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, archbishop of San Salvador, the 16th Day for the Commemoration of Missionary Martyrs is celebrated. The event is observed all over Italy, with vigils of prayer and fasting at which many young people participate. The ecumenical list of martyrs, including Catholics and non-Catholics.

    18/08/2005 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
    Archbishop of Seoul appeals for religious freedom in North Korea
    Speaking before a congregation of 20,000 people, Mgr Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul and Apostolic Administrator for Pyŏngyang, calls for religious freedom in the North, key to the country's social development.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou (underground) seized by police

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Public security will not reveal where he was taken, but allow the faithful to deliver some clothes for their pastor. The bishop will celebrate Easter with his faithful. Pressures on the prelate to adhere to the Patriotic Association. A similar fate to that of Msgr. Guo Xijin. It is also pressure on the Holy See.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Underground Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin missing for four days

    Wang Zhicheng

    After being detained at the Religious Affairs Office in Fuan, he was taken to an undisclosed location "to study and learn." Catholics believe that he will be pressured into joining the Patriotic Association. His refusal will likely mean that he won’t be allowed back to his diocese.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®