07/21/2014, 00.00

K-Pop idol, Rain, converts to Catholicism: For the faith, not for love

The famous South Korean actor and singer, received the sacrament of Christian initiation in recent days in a small parish on the outskirts of Seoul. His girlfriend is a Catholic actress but wanted to emphasize that his choice has nothing to do with a possible future marriage. A growing number of celebrities are converting: the "Queen of Pop", BoA, will be having lunch with Pope Francis during his visit to the peninsula.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - One of the most famous Korean "new wave" artists, actor and singer Rain, was baptized a few days ago in a small parish in Gwangju, on the outskirts of Seoul. Rain, best known for his vocal talents, is one of the leading exponents of "K-Pop", the Korean music trend that is highly popular throughout Asia. According to some sources, he drew close to the Catholic Church through his girlfriend Kim Tae-hee, a famous actress and a fervent Catholic.

The baptism was confirmed this morning by his PR agency, the Cube DC: " Rain was recently received baptism as a Catholic. It was something that was planned a long time ago. Only family and close friends were attending". The same agency denied there was any sentimental compulsion behind his choice: "It is not true that Rain and Kim are getting married, and it is not true that he was forced to undergo baptism".

Rain is only the latest in a long list of celebrities to join the South Korean Church. The champion figure skater Kim Yu-na was baptized in adulthood choosing the name of "Star" and is very devout; BoA, known as the "Queen of Korean pop" instead comes from a Catholic family and, in the course of her career and has always given a lot of importance to her faith. Precisely for this reason, she was chosen to attend the lunch with Pope Francis to be held in the Diocese of Daejeon South Korea during the pontiff's visit to South Korea

The Pope will visit the peninsula August 14 to 18 to participate in the Asian Youth Day in the Diocese of Daejeon, and to beatify Paul Yun Ji-chung and his 123 companions, martyred in hatred of the faith during the persecutions of the Joseon kingdom.

The lunch will take place on August 15: BoA along with 17 other young people will be representatives from many Asian nations, chosen as "ambassadors" of the faith among their peers. According to the bishop, Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, "the territory of this diocese has been the home of many martyrs. Hopefully the Asian Youth Day will inspire other young people to look to their sacrifice. This meeting with the Pope is sure to be a huge encouragement for their faith. "



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