4 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 12/21/2012
KOREA
Korea, Christmas tree returns to border with North
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
The tradition halted in 2003 on the basis of a cooperation agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang. This year, the outgoing government of Lee Myung-bak grants permission: "At least the border guards will be able to enjoy a little bit of religious freedom."

Seoul (AsiaNews) - After a gap of nine years, the giant Christmas tree is back on the border between the two Koreas. The outgoing government of Lee Myung-bak, who will be replaced by the newly elected Park Geun-hye, has granted some Christian churches permission to install the giant lit tree near the military demarcation line. The tradition was interrupted in 2003 as part of an agreement on inter-Korean cooperation.

This was announced by the spokesman of the Ministry of Defence, Kim Min-seok, who spoke immediately after the announcement of Park's victory: "The tree will be lit from December 22 to January 2 and will be illuminated in order to be able to provide guards North of the border at least a little religious freedom". A Protestant congregation in Seoul will take care of the arrangements.

Kim said "the government wants to continue the tradition that was interrupted in 2003 as part of a reconciliation agreement with the communist government." The agreement remained in force despite Pyongyang's military increasingly pressing provocations: in 2010, some Christian groups had prepared a huge tower, but that was demolished a year after the death of Kim Jong- il.

There is no religious freedom in North Korea. The few places of worship open in Pyongyang "smokescreens", buildings that are shown to the few visitors allowed in the country where, however, no religions are practiced. The Christian population was decimated after the division of the peninsula at the end of the Korean War, and the taking of power by Kim Il-sung. AsiaNews sources speak of "not more than 200 thousand Catholics" left in the country.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/02/2014 KOREA
Korea, giant Christmas Tree returns to border between North and South
12/03/2011 KOREA
A Christmas tree ready to light up North Korea
12/23/2010 KOREA
After seven years, Christmas tree on border with North
07/29/2014 SOUTH KOREA
Korea, Sewol survivors: Crew and Coast Guard abandoned us
03/02/2009 BANGLADESH
Bangladeshi army pursuing fugitive paramilitaries

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.