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    » 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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    See also

    15/04/2015 SOUTH KOREA
    Francis effect sees jump in baptisms and catechumens in 2014
    According to official data from the Korean Bishops' Conference, in 2014, 124 748 baptisms were celebrated, a 5% increase over the previous year. End to decline that had lasted since 2010. The Bishop of Daejeon: "Happy, this is a result of Pope Francis’ visit. The number of catechumens has also increased".

    23/04/2014 SOUTH KOREA
    Korea’s Catholic Church continues to grow: faithful now 10.4% of the population
    The Bishops' Conference releases figures for the previous year: faithful now almost 5.5 million, an increase of 1.5% over the previous year. Since 2003, the statistics show a steady growth of the Catholic population.

    17/03/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Korea, President Park thanks the Pope: Your visit is a great opportunity for us all
    South Korean president Park Geun-hye receives members of the Preparatory Commission for the papal visit: "This year is filled with Catholic occasions! We are grateful to Francis for his creating archbishop Yeom a cardinal".

    08/09/2014 SOUTH KOREA - VATICAN
    Bishop of Daejeon: Pope Francis, "missionary typhoon " for Korean Church and society
    The pastoral visit to South Korea "had a deep impact. 'Lukewarm' Catholics have come back to the churches, and we have many new catechumens. But the most important thing is that the Pope has led us to a great collective examination of conscience: he showed us how a Christian lives and what we need to do to improve ourselves and our community". The Pope’s appeals "become concrete examples of renewal", Evangelii Gaudium a "compass for our mission."

    19/06/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Korea, the Pope will meet relatives of the victims of the Sewol disaster
    On the second day of the visit in Korea, the pope will attend a Mass to celebrate Mary's rise into heaven on Assumption Day and deliver a homily at a soccer stadium in the central city of Daejeon. The Sewol ferry sank in April with the loss of some 300 lives, most of them schoolchildren.

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


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