Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Celadon Virgin Mary

From Korean-Arts:
Collaborator Sentenced

Here are two opposing editorials about the sentencing of Professor Song Du Yul, ranking member of North Korea's Politburo, in South Korea (see S.Korea Jails Scholar for 7 Years for Aiding North):

Prof. Song is much more than just a "useful idiot." He is the highest-level North Korean agent ever nabbed by the South. The liberal South Korean media lauded his return from exile in Germany a few months ago, but was slow or unwilling to condemn his colaboration with, or membership in, the most repessive government on Earth. This man even received a "Peace Prize" in Seoul a few days ago (see Dissident Professor Given Peace Prize). With seven years, he got off light.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Harsh Words

From German Pastor Castigates Korean Treatment of Foreign Laborers:
    "Pointing to several incidents that have occurred in the last few years in which Korean travelers in Southeast Asia were beaten or killed simply on account of their nationality, he said, 'Koreans must treat their foreign workers humanely and improve Koreans' image before it's too late.'

    "Baruth came to Seoul in February 1997, along with his wife and three children. His most painful memory occurred soon after he arrived.

    "'About two years after we arrived in Korea, my children were begging us to go back to Germany every day. This was because the Korean children where treating them with contempt, throwing stones at their heads and spitting in their faces.'"
Jimmy Carter and Park Chung-hee

Re: Is Bush the Holiest of Them All? Verily, No: Many presidents have openly held strong religious beliefs.

From the above article about the religious beliefs of American presidents past and present, I learned of this historic encounter:
    "But perhaps the best religious factoid about Carter is that he took the opportunity of a private car ride to the airport in 1979 to try to convert Park Chung Hee, then president of South Korea and a Buddhist, to Christianity. What's more, Carter was so proud of his effort he told his Bible class all about it."

Monday, March 29, 2004


Re: Dissident Professor Given Peace Prize

Professor Song Doo-yul, the recipient of the prize, is facing 15 years imprisonment for his dealing with the North Korean regime. In fact, he's a ranking member of the DPRK's politburo, perhaps the world's most repressive and militaristic regime. The article only begins to make sense when one reads that the "peace" prize in question, the Ahn Joong-guen Peace Prize, was "named in honor of an independence movement activist who assassinated the Japanese governor general of Korea in 1909." Most sickening of all is that this travesty was held at Seoul's Myeongdong Cathedral, the center of Korean Catholicism.

Why does the Left insist on debasing the word "peace"?

Good reading now that the cherry blossoms are in full bloom: Fleeting Spring in Jeju Island: Beauty in passing captured by Rev. Kim Min Su
Dean and Roh

Lessons from Korean digital democracy is an interesting article which compares the implosion of the Howard Dean canpaign and the collapse of Roh Moo-hyun's presidency. The article emphasizes the role of the Internet in the ascendency of both men, refering to Roh as the "world's first Internet president."

Most probably see using the Internet as an opportunity to bring the democratic process to a wider number of people as a good thing. This expansion of democracy is, however, nothing more than a further decline leading to mobocracy.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Return of "Mountain Worship"

Mountain Spirits Are Resurgent in Modern Korea
"The Martyr of Sweat"

From UCA News Online comes a story that the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints has granted a nihil obstat (nothing obstructs) in the process for the canonization of Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop, known as the "Martyr of Sweat" in Korea, for having "walked an average of 2,800 kilometers a year to visit Catholics in remote villages where foreign missioners could not visit and heard 4,000 confessions" and who "died of typhoid in 1861, at the age of 40, after a 12-year itinerant mission."

Friday, March 26, 2004

A Plan to Settle NK Refugees in Mongolia and Russia

Christian Group Seeks to Build Refugee Towns Overseas for N.Koreans
Women Gaining Power in Korea

In [Opinion] Patriarchy and Matriarchy, we read that women are gaining power not only over household decisions but in the political world as well.

While K-pop is some of the world's most insipid music, P'ansori is some of its most inspired. here's an article about Korean P'ansori in Alaska: P'ansori: Park's perfect match.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

An Asian Madonna and Child

From Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Madonna and Child:
Over-the-top Ecumenism

Park Geun-hye, daughter of former South Korean strongman Park Chung-hee, was recently elected head of the Grand National Party. In an effort to atone for her party's sins, she "visited Myeongdong Cathedral and Jogye Temple; she made confession at the former, and bowed -- in Buddhist fashion -- 108 times at the later" (from Uri Party Savagely Attacks GNP's New Chairperson).

I am rather certain that Miss Park is not a Catholic, in which case she would not have been eligible to receive the Sacrament of Confession. And if she had been a Catholic, she should not have participated in the Buddhist ritual at Jogye Temple.

South Korea is a indeed a fascinating and complicated country both politically and religiously.
A Rabbi on North Korea

North Korea: lessons from the Holocaust by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, & Harold Brackman, a historian and consultant at the center.
Stay out of Politics!

From today's UCA News Online comes a story from Korea with this headline: "Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant Clergy Decry Impeachment As 'Invalid.'" The impeachent of President Roh followed due process as laid out in the Constitution of the Republic of Korea. Thus, it is "valid," whether it is right or wrong, a good or bad thing for tha country. One should, in good conscience, be able to agree or diagree with it. The Korean priests mentioned in the article should stay out of politics and focus on moral issues, like abortion, euthanasia, and human cloning, all prevelent in South Korea.

Although abortion in Korea is technically illegal, there are five times the number of unborn murdered here than in the U.S., where abortion is legal and easy! More Koreans are aborted each year than are born! And this is a country, with a birth rate of 1.17 babies per woman, whose popluation will be reduced by two-thirds in a century!
Kerry and the Church

A senior staff member in the Kerry campaign, commneting after Sen. John Kerry attended Mass at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Idaho, from Kerry Catholicism a "Media-Op" Church Scandal:
    "'It was just a media-op. We set it up with some reporters that we knew were going to be there."

The article also states that Kerry, not a regular church-goer, received Holy Communion. Avoiding Sunday obligation and support for abortion both being mortal sins, Kerry should have abstained from Communion, or have sought the Sacrament of Reconciliation beforehand. Perhaps he did the latter. If so, he should have repudiated his pro-abortion views publicly immediately afterwards to avoid Scandal.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


From Ethnic Cleansing, Again By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF:
    "ALONG THE SUDAN-CHAD BORDER — The most vicious ethnic cleansing you've never heard of is unfolding here in the southeastern fringes of the Sahara Desert. It's a campaign of murder, rape and pillage by Sudan's Arab rulers that has forced 700,000 black African Sudanese to flee their villages..."
Martyred Missionaries Day

Today is Martyred Missionaries Day, a day of prayer, fasting, and remembrance. It is also a good day to reflect on the meaning of the word "martyr." Andrea Riccardi, Professor of the History of Christianity and Religions at the III University of Rome, succinctly defines the word in A Call to Recover Real Sense of "Martyr":
    "The Christian martyr, in the conscience of Christians, has a specific function; he does not insist on vengeance or claims.

    "Today, martyr is a word that is abused in our speech. There is talk of martyrdom in the secular sense. There is talk of martyrdom to refer to Muslim suicides. But the 'sahid,' the suicide 'martyr,' is very different from the Christian martyr.

    "The Christian martyr does not commit suicide to kill others. The Christian martyr gives his life so that others will not die, so as not to abandon his own faith, and to support other believers, out of love.

    "He does not seek death, but he does not give up his faith or a certain human behavior, even if he has to pay the price of his own life."

Here are some other stories on the martyrs we remember today:

Rome to Remember Martyrs in Algeria
Vatican urges record of communist-era martyrdom of Eastern Catholics
Dramatic account of Eastern Catholic martyrs
New book charts history of Eastern Churches in 20th Century
Los San Patricios

Via A CONSERVATIVE BLOG FOR PEACE, The Irish Soldiers of Mexico telles the exciting story of the Irish volunteers who fought with Mexico against the United Sates in the Mexican-American War. Their chief motivation was a defense of Catholicism, which would also lead Irish volunteers to fight on the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War, while naïve and romantic youths from Britain, the US, and Europe volunteered for the church-burning Republicans.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Save the Pledge!

In One Nation, Enriched by Biblical Wisdom, an excellent article defending the continued use of the phrase "One nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegience, author David Brooks contrasts Europe with the United States:
    "For example, it's been painful to watch thoroughly secularized Europeans try to grapple with Al Qaeda. The bombers declare, 'You want life, and we want death'— a (fanatical) religious statement par excellence. But thoroughly secularized listeners lack the mental equipment to even begin to understand that statement. They struggle desperately to convert Al Qaeda into a political phenomenon: the bombers must be expressing some grievance. This is the path to permanent bewilderment."
Catholic Martyrs of 2003

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 24, is to be observed as a Day of Prayer and Fasting in Memory of Martyred Missionaries, for the 35 Catholic Missionaries Killed in 2003. Il martirologio della Chiesa nel 2003 provides a list of their names, in Italian.

Monday, March 22, 2004


From prayer4northkorea:
    North Korea Encourages Workers to Join New Work-hard Campaign

    North Korea is calling on its people to participate in a campaign to work harder amid deepening economic difficulties.

    The North's introduction of a new prize, the "Songun Ponghwa," was first reported on Jan. 12 last year when the North Korean media covered a New Year's meeting of coal miners, urging all factories and companies in the country to compete to win the prize.

    Prayer: Pray that the people of NK will not be so easily fooled into such empty promises. Pray that the people will see that the root of their difficulties is due to inadequate and incompetent leadership.
SSPX on North Korea

The of Society of Saint Pius X District of Asia recently published this good article on North Korea: Christians under dark reign of Kim Jong Il.
Most Holy Mother of God Catholic Cathedral in Vladisvostok

From: Most Holy Mother of God Missionary Society:

    "...A recent development in the Vladivostok parish life has been the activation of the Korean Catholics who live in Vladivostok. The Sisters of St. Paul of Chartes from Seoul have come to live in Vladivostok for a year while they learn Russian. They have begun to interact with the local Korean community...

Triplett on North Korea

Last week, the National Review Online published an excellent five-part series of exceprts from Rogue State: How a Nuclear North Korea Threatens America by William C. Triplett II, which Katolik Shinja is proud to present below:
Panem et Circenses

Yesterday, South Korean television broadcast an astonishing performance of the Pyongyang Circus in Monte Carlo. More of an acrobatic performance than a circus, it was full of amazingly death-defying feats of the aerial trapeze artists. It was even better than the two best acrobatic performaces I have seen live: a Chinese acrobatic team that toured South Korea two years ago, and the Cuban National Circus, which I saw in Chile about a decade ago.

Communist regimes do an outstanding job in providing their populaces with circenses. (Of course, the secret to this success is that from childhood the performers undergo rigorous and brutal training that parents of any democracy would not tolerate.) It's a tragedy and a crime that these Communist countries, especially North Korea, are so abyssmal at providing their people with adequate panem.
From Contraception to Gay "Marriage"


The article was published by Virtuosity - The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism. I'm sure they would cite the Anglican Communion's 1930 decision to end the ban on contraception, a first for a Christian Church, as a signpost on Anglicanism's road to heterodoxy.
PR China Closes Down Blogs

Via Catholic Light:

Sunday, March 21, 2004

21st Century "Comfort Women"

Smuggled South Koreans Turn to Sex Slavery

This time, however, it is not the Japanese Imperialists, but fellow Koreans, who are to blame.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Politicized South Korean Catholic Group Weighs in on Impeachment

Father Park Ki Ho, of the Catholic Committee for Justice and Peace, quoted in Candles of Conscience Raised High by Catholic Groups:
    "If anyone of faith or any religious leader supports impeachment, he is making a major mistake. This fight is resistance against the forces that are trampling constitutional government and regress democracy, and it is a fight to change the waters filled with corrupt politicians."

The above remarks are represent a dangerous entry of a segment of the Church into the political world. Surely there are people of faith and religious leaders who, in good conscience, support the impeachment (including the 193 legislators who voted to impeach Roh), just as there are those who are against it, also in good conscience. Politics is the realm of the laity; the Church should use save her voice to speak against moral evils.

From what I understand, the Magisterium has very little to say about various forms of government, save for some support of Monarchism.
Plummeting Birth Rates and the Response to Terror

From Spain's elections show why radical Islam can win:
    "Spain's death-knell sounded long before the train bombings in Madrid, however. No country in the world is more determined to disappear. The country's fertility rate of 1.12 live births per female is the lowest in the world. As recently as 1975, at the death of strongman Francisco Franco, the fertility rate stood at 3 births per female in 1976. By 2050 Spain will have lost a quarter of its population. Germany and Italy, whose fertility rates fell earlier than Spain's, will lose a third, according to economist Anthony Scholefield....

    "Like other former strongholds of Catholicism, Spain has made an abrupt and terrible shift away from traditional family life toward egregious hedonism....

    "The victorious General Francisco Franco kept Spain firmly in the Catholic fold until his death in 1975, after which Catholicism shriveled in Spain like a vampire exposed to the light of day. Along with church attendance, the birthrate fell from one of the highest to one of the lowest in the world. That already has been the fate of other Catholic strongholds, such as Canada's province of Quebec. There the fertility rate dropped from 4.95 children per woman in 1961 to 1.57 in 1996.

    "Old Europe's people, religion, culture and fighting mettle have imploded together. The Europeans are not so much defeatist as resigned to extinction."
Seventy Years On

A must-read for all Civil War buffs, Spanish Civil War buffs, that is:
"Linking the Unlinkable"

The Antiwar Movement Is Not Progressive -- And That's a Good Thing

Looking back on some antiwar protests I attended in the early 1990s against Gulf War I, I recall being put off by the professional activists and progressives and their attempts to link the antiwar movement to every cause under the sun: anti-racism, gay rights, feminism, environmentalism, the plight of the Palestinians, an increased minimum wage, gun control, and, of course, the sine qua non of progressivism, its litmus-test: abortion. At another demontsration of the same era, against the non-guilty verdict in the Rodney King police brutality case, I recall a group of smiling white women rushing out of some feminist organization's office to thrust hastilty made "pro-choice" signs into the hands of the majority black protestors, who in turn tore up the signs and threw their pieces on the ground in disgust.

It seemed that to be against the war, or to stand for any one of the above issues, one had to agree with the whole platform of the progressive Left. I, however, agreed with a few of the issues and disagreed with most of the others, reminding me of the words of then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Saddam Hussein's linking of his invasion of Kuwait with the Palestinian cause was an attempt to "link the unlinkable."

The above article asserts that the antiwar movement, with its support from the Left as well as sectors of the Right, could be "an unprecedented opportunity to change the direction of American society."
Giving Back

In Korea has duty to rest of world, Yoon Hyun-bong, General Secretary of Korea NGO Council for Overseas Cooperation, writes about the enormous amount of aid Korea received after the Korean War, and the responsibilty the now-wealthy country has to the rest of the world:
    "...Korea's share of official development assistance is 0.06 percent of GNP, 10 times less than 0.6 percent, a figure recommended by the OECD and less than 0.22 percent, the average of OECD member countries. As the biggest beneficiary and a successful example of development assistance from abroad, it is a pitifully low level. We rail at the conglomerates and resent stingy rich people, but we don't realize that we may appear like stingy rich people to the world."

Friday, March 19, 2004

Hot off the Presses!

Here is a link to an article I wrote for Traditional Catholic Reflections & Reports:
Madrid Bombing's Repercussions Reach Far

S. Korea Won't Send Troops to Iraqi City
Alarmingly Low Birth Rate

Low-Birth Trend Continues Last Year

South Korea's birth rate, at 1.17 per woman, is among the world's lowest, along with Hong Kong, Latvia, and Bulgaria. The above article presents the following alarming projection:
    "According to the survey, the Korean population will peak at 49.25 million in 2017 and then decline to 16.21 million by 2100, about one third the current level."

The cost in terms of social upheaval will be enormous. In the sixties, seventies, and even eighties, the South Korean government, like most in the world, bought into the anti-human "population explosion" myth and encouraged people to have smaller families. The result of that gross miscalculation has spiraled out of control. Korea, like Japan and Europe, will soon be faced with a huge population of elderly people with a rapidly skrinking labor force to support them.

Disobeying Natural Law has its consequences. God's first commandment was "Be fruitful and multiply."
The Almighty Self

It's telling that the word "Self" is capitalized throughout this article: Do You Need Therapy?

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

"The Irish of Asia"

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to the Irish of the world from the Ireland of Asia! Koreans have been called the "Irish of Asia" due to the similarities between their nation and the Emerald Isle. An article entitled the Irish of the East? describes in detail many of these striking coincidences. Here are some of the more remarkable similarities:

1. Both countries are divided between the north and the south.
2. Both countries have been dominated by an imperial island nation to the east, populated by people known for their etiquette and restraint.
3. Both oppressor nations (England and Japan) tried to eradicate the language and culture of the dominated peoples.
4. Both the Irish and Koreans tend to be down-to-earth, emotional, and can sometimes be perceived to be rude.
5. Both peoples have an elaborate clan system.
6. Both peoples love song, dance, and liquor.
7. And finally, as an inside joke for those who know some Korean; Korea (Hanguk) is the country of han, or the "Land of Ire" (from [ks-open] Irish of Asia?).

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Al-Qaeda's Mission Accomplished?

From Spain Will Loosen Its Alliance With U.S., Premier-Elect Says:
    "Spain is going to see eye to eye with Europe again." José Zapatero, prime minister-elect of Spain.

From Rewarding Terror in Spain:
    "It must be said: Spanish voters have allowed a small band of terrorists to dictate the outcome of their national elections."

From Al Qaeda's Wish List:
    "There will be other aftershocks from the Spanish election. The rift between the U.S. and Europe will grow wider. Now all European politicians will know that if they side with America on controversial security threats, and terrorists strike their nation, they might be blamed by their own voters."
Good Intentions

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." I used to have trouble with that proverb. I thought that as long as you thought you were doing good, that as long as you followed your conscience, you'd be kept out of the danger of sin. I was, in hindsight, a blind follower of the dominant relativist and situationist ethics of post-modernism. The Church stresses the importance of conscience in morality, but emphasizes the necessity of a well-informed conscience.

Today, I read that the Mennonite Central Committee of Pennsylvania is sending a Canadian couple to teach English to North Korean scientists (see U.S. sends English teachers to N. Korea). This may seem like a good and Christian thing to do, but these scientists work for the most repressive government on the face of the Earth: a government that is accused of testing chemical and biological weapons on Christians and other political prisoners, a goverment that starves its own people, that breaks nuclear agreements, that enshrines its leader as a living god. Providing food aid to the innocent starving victims of that regime is a corporal act of mercy, but aiding and abetting the regime that keeps them starving is a pact with the devil.
Taegu, South Korea and East Timor

    Archbishop Paul Ri Moun-hi of Taegu

    Archdiosese of Taegu

According to an article in today's UCA News my home archdiocese of Taegu will hold a special Lenten drive to help to reconstruct the Quelicai Parish in East Timor.

Monday, March 15, 2004


From Danielle:

    Eurasian (Irish + Malaysian Chinese) supermodel Danielle Graham wearing a traditional Korean hanbok

The pictures remind me that on Easter Sunday church will be full of women wearing their bright pink, yellow, and green hanboks, making that glorious day all the more glorious. Miss Graham's Irish heritage reminds me that St. Patrick's Day is only two days away and I'll have a special greeting to the Irish of the world from Korea, The Ireland of the East.
Terrorists Influence Spanish Election

Socialists Oust Spain's Conservatives

CNN showed a Spanish protester with a sign that read, "Aznar, Blair, Bush - Culpables" No, those three weren't the guilty ones - the terrorists alone were.
Cristo Redentor

From Peregrinación anual del Movimiento de Schoenstatt al Cristo Redentor:

Papal Text Notes Peace Between Argentina and Chile. The Holy Father's words mark the centenary of the monument in the Andes, which was built "to commemorate the agreements that led to final peace treaties between the two countries in 1902." According to a website providing information about the beautiful city of Mendoza, Argentina, "[c]annons used in the wars of liberation were melted down to provide the metal for the statue." I took the dramatic eight-hour bus-ride between Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina many times as an exchange student in 1993 and once later in 1995, but never visited the statue. The border between the two countries is marked in the middle of a tunnel. Mendoza has its place, along with Georgetown, Malaysia and Nagasaki, Japan, as one of my favorite small cities in the world.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Al-Qaeda and Madrid

The article Madrid attacks unsettle Arab press describes the Arab world's indignation at the speculation that Arabs or Muslims could have been behind the horrendous events in Madrid. London's Al-Arab al-Alamiyah went as far to say, "Arabs and Muslims cannot commit such an act." That was, of course, before al-Qaeda claimed responsibilty (see Al-Qaeda 'claims Madrid bombings').

I won't hold my breath for any mass rallies of condemnation of the attacks in the much-lauded "Arab Street," as we didn't see them after the attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, or New York and Washington, or Bali, or Istanbul, or even after Riyadh.
Roh as in No

Why is impeached South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun's family name pronounced "no?" Read the following and find out:
Required Reading for St. Patrick's Day

Up Next for Mel: The passion of St. Patrick.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Abortion in Korea

[Legal-ease]Is abortion illegal here?

This article, describing Korea's illegal but ubiquitous abortions (more per capita than in the US, where abortion is legal), is so chilling in its matter-of-factness, I'll post it in its entirity. For those who don't have time to read the whole article, it can be summarized as follows:

Is abortion illegal in Korea? Yes, but the law isn't enforced, so go ahead and kill your baby.

Here's the article:
    Dear Sean, I am a Canadian teacher working in Seoul. My Korean girlfriend is pregnant. What are our options in Korea? Is it true that abortion in Korea is illegal? If we choose to abort the child is it still possible in Korea or a nearby country. Full of Anxiety, in Gangnam.

    Dear Anxiety, Chapter XVII of the Criminal Code punishes those that procure an abortion and those that administer an abortion. A woman who procures an abortion may be punished with up to a 2 million won fine and one year in jail.

    A doctor or the like who performs an abortion may be punished with up to two years in jail if no injury occurs to the mother, up to three years in jail if an injury occurs to the mother, and up to five years in jail if the mother dies. Additionally, a doctor may loose the qualification to practice medicine for up to seven years.

    In 1973, however, the Maternal and Child Health and the Mother and Fatherless Child Health Acts established exemptions from this prohibition.

    According to the laws, a physician may perform an abortion if the pregnant woman or her spouse suffers from an eugenic or hereditary mental or physical disease specified by Presidential Decree, if the woman or her spouse suffers from a communicable disease specified by Presidential Decree, if the pregnancy results from rape or incest or if continuation of the pregnancy is likely to jeopardize the mothers health.

    Even though the Korean legal system may punish those that procure an abortion and those that perform an abortion - prosecutors rarely prosecute those that perform or procure abortions because of the exceptions, the fact that doctors can fit their case into the exemptions, and the fact that the attitude of Koreans towards abortion has drastically changed, since the imposition of the law.

    Today, a women that is pregnant in Korea that wishes to abort the fetus usually visits her local OB/GYN and the doctor usually performs the abortion or the doctor refers the patient to a clinic that will perform the abortion.

    In Korea, an abortion can usually be performed up to 28 weeks from conception, but at the 28-week mark, the abortion may be detrimental to the health of the mother.

    Statistics reported by the United Nations states that in 1996, 20 abortions per 1000 births occurred in Korea. However, the United Nations contends that the statistics on the actual number of abortions performed may be underestimated, since reporting is not mandatory, and most abortions are performed in private clinics.

    The United States abortion rate is the identical rate of 20 abortions per 1000 births, but most abortions in the United States are reported. So it is likely that the abortion rate in Korea is somewhat higher than the abortion rate in the United States.

    Accordingly, in Korea a pregnant woman has a viable option of choosing to abort the fetus. A pregnant woman should not forget, however, that other options are available including adoption, raising the child as a single-mother or getting married and raising the child as a family.

    All too often many young couples choose an abortion without considering other available options.

    A plethora of online information is available to assist you and your girlfriend in making this important decision in your girlfriend, the fetus, and your life.
Anarchy in the ROK?

Is Korea Ready For Democracy?
The author says yes and so do I. The impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun was not a coup d'etat as some claimed, but rather a constitutional process following, more or less, the rule of law. The generals don't need to step in... yet.

Friday, March 12, 2004

That's what Kings are For

    His Royal Highness King Juan Carlos I

His Majesty's words, from King calls for unity in face of barbarity:
    "Terrorist barbarity has today plunged Spain into the deepest grief in the face of which we must stand united and strong. Men, women and children have been brutally confronted by death and suffering.

    "A nightmare has struck showing terrorism’s cruel face. Your king is suffering with all of you and shares your indignation."

See also: Spanish king visits survivors

If someone were to ask me which aspect of the Catholic Church I subjectively cherish most as a convert from Protestantism, my answer would be the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Objectively, my answer would have to be the Real Presence, but unfortunately I do not spend enough time meditating on that reality before and during mass. With Confession, however, the feeling of absolution is always present.

The folowing guide, How To Go To Confession, is an excellent resource that provides the procedure of the sacrament, tips on how to make a good confession, and an examination of conscience that clearly differentiates between mortal and venial sins, something very useful for those who, like me, are burdoned by scrupulosity.
Traditional Korean Beauty

    Woman by Chang Woo-sung

From Women's Conventional Beauty Exhibited

For some time, people have commented that South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun should watch his tongue. He was impeached today, for allegedly breaking campaign laws by speaking on behalf of the party that supported him and for saying that he would resign if it were proven that the amount of bribes he received was 10% of that the rival party received. Now, it appears his words may have prompted the former head of Daewoo Construction, accused of passing 30,000,000 won (US$25,400) to the presidents own brother, to take his own life: President Roh, quoted in Fmr. Daewoo Head Kills Himself Following Roh's Comments, in a speech to the nation, hours before the suicide:
    "I hope that people like the former head of Daewoo Construction, who have attended good schools and have greatly succeeded, will no longer go to small people in the countryside and pass them money for their own interests."

S. Korea Parliament Impeaches President

The 193-2 vote to impeach Preseident Roh Moo-hyun occured about an hour ago. Members of the party supporting the president spent all of last night and half of today blocking the Speaker of the National Assembly from approaching the podium, from where by law he must call the vote. They were removed by security officers and the vote went through, with all but two of the president's supporters abstaining.

La Matanza en Madrid

John Paul II Condemns Terrorist Attacks in Madrid as "unjustifiable acts that offend God, violate the fundamental right to life, and undermine peaceful coexistence."
Terrorism Is World's Plague, Says Church in Madrid
Ringing cell phones, twisted metal, last rites mark Madrid wreckage

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Seasons of Grace by Sr. Kim Ae-ran of the Daughters of St. Paul

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Plastic Surgery Disasters

One of my favorite albums as a teenager was the Dead Kennedys' Plastic Surgery Disasters, a title that came to mind after reading this article, Obsession with looks can be deadly, which begins with this recent story from the Korean news:
    "Less than two weeks ago a 25-year-old university student jumped to her death from the 13th floor of her luxury high rise overlooking Haeundae Beach in Busan. By all accounts she had everything to live for, though she felt something was missing.

    "In her six-page suicide note, the unidentified pharmacy major said she always wanted to be beautiful. However, she explained, her last hope to attain the look she wanted failed with an unsuccessful plastic surgery.

The botched surgery was Korea's most common from of plastic surgery: the so-called "double eye-lid" surgery, done to achieve a more Occidental appearance.
"Relocation" of Christianity

The Rebirth of Christianity: The Gospel Blossoms in the East describes the relocation of Christianity from the West to Africa, Latin America and Asia. Author and journalist Philip Yancey was quoted as saying:
    "As I travel, I have observed a pattern, a strange historical phenomenon of God 'moving' geographically from the Middle East, to Europe to North America to the developing world. My theory is this: God goes where He's wanted."

The article gives plenty of interesting statistics. About Christianity's growth outside the West:
    "In Africa in the year 1900, for example, there were approximately 10 million Christians on the continent. By 2000, the number had grown to 360 million.

    "The Anglican Communion is a perfect example of this worldwide trend. Whereas in its U.S. branch -- the Episcopal Church -- membership has declined over the last 40 years to 2.3 million, in Uganda alone there are more than 8 million Anglicans.

    "Worldwide, evangelical Christians are a thriving part of the Christian community. Yet, 70% of evangelicals live outside the West...

    "South Korea is another example of a nation in which the growth of Christianity has been stunning. In 1920, Jenkins says, there were only about 300,000 believers in all of Korea. But today, in South Korea alone, there are 10 to 12 million Christians -- about 25% of the population."

About the decline of Christianity in the West:
    "According to a major survey in the 1990s, the percentage of people attending church on an average Sunday in some European countries is a mere fraction of the total population: England (27%), West Germany (14%), Denmark (5%), Norway (5%), Sweden, (4%) and Finland (4%)."

Author Gene Edward Veith, on where Catholicism fits into these trends:
    "'This decline is directly attributable to the theological liberalism of the once-powerful state churches.'

    "Veith says that, where the more conservative Catholic Church holds sway, church attendance is far higher: Ireland (84%), Poland (55%), Portugal (47%), and Italy (45%).

    "'These are Catholic countries where the church has remained conservative,' Veith says. 'Catholic churches that have gone liberal -- in the United States, France, the Netherlands -- have the same low attendance rates as liberal Protestants.'"

And some final cautionary words:
    "'[I]t is not modernist, liberal Christianity that is sweeping through the Southern Hemisphere,' says Veith, 'but a Christianity in which the gospel is proclaimed, that believes God's Word, that refuses to conform to the world.'"

Monday, March 08, 2004

Titles of the Dear Leader

Some of the titles of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, from North Korean Leader Has Many Titles:

"Great Leader"
"Heaven-sent Great General"
"Guardian of Our Planet"
"The Illustrious General of All Illustrious Generals"
"The Saint of All Saints"
"The Lodestar of the 21st Century"
"A philosophical giant"
"A master of literature, arts and architecture"
"Humankind's greatest genius of music”
"Greatest incarnation of human wisdom"
"The present-day God"
Gay "Marriage" in Korea

It seems the gay "marriage" virus has spread to Korea. However, no legal authorities have broken the law, as they have in San Francisco and other places in the United States, in granting marriage licences to gays. Nor, judging from the conservative and obedient nature of most Korean funtionaries, are they likely to do so in the future. The "marriage" described was simply Korea's first public ceremony. Tellingly, the faces of the groom and groom were blocked out on Korean television.

From: First Public 'Gay Marriage' Held in Korea:
Korean Cloning and the Sin of Pride

An editorial against cloning today inadvertenty suggested to what extent ambition to be first in the world motivated the Korean scientists behibd the cloning of human embryos a few weeks ago. Here are a few quotes from [VIEWPOINT]Cloning's moral issues are real:
    "Professor Hwang Woo-suk recently succeeded in cloning human embryos through somatic cell nuclear transplantation, and in extracting embryonic stem cells from the embryos. He held a victorious press conference in front of U.S. scientists, who take pride in being the best in the world as far as biotechnology is concerned, and received their praise for a marvelous.

    "This is quite an inspiration for Koreans, who have lived powerlessly to such an extent that we could not but send our youths to the battlefields in Iraq when the United States demanded we do so."

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Happy Name Day, Hyunae Perpetua!

March 7th - Memorial of Saints Perpetua and Felicity

From Saint Perpetua:

    "Your lambs, Perpetua and Felicity, cry out to you, O Jesus, with great love: 'O our Bridegroom, we long for you in great pain, we are crucified with you, and in baptism we are buried with you. We suffer for your sake in order to reign with you. We die for you in order to live in you. Accept us as immaculate victims, since we are slain for your sake.' Through their intercessions, O Merciful One, save our souls!"

    "Perpetua and Felicity were martyred in Carthage by Emperor Septimus Severus in 202 or 203. They were in a large group of Christians who had been rounded up and imprisoned. Perpetua received a dream where she saw a ladder stretching from earth to Heaven covered with sharp implements of torture and a serpent at the bottom. She saw Satyrus, one of their number, run up to the top of the ladder without injury. He encouraged her to ascend, 'but mind the serpent.' She used the serpent's head as if it were the first rung and ascended to Glory. With this vision, she encouraged the others to follow faithfully in martyrdom. St. Satyrus was martyred first, then Perpetua. Then the rest all followed. This was done in the arena as entertainment for the pagans. St. Perpetua was a 22 year-old noblewoman, married, with a newborn son. St. Felicity was a slave and was pregnant. In 1907, an inscription in their honor was discovered in the Basilica in Carthage that marked their grave. Some of their relics were placed in the Altar during the consecration of St. Philip's Church. Her banner reads: 'I RECEIVED IT IN MY JOINED HANDS AND ATE'"

Saturday, March 06, 2004

PJB on The Passion

In Mel Gibson's triumph, Pat Buchanan demontsrates how Mel Gibson and The Passion of the Christ is part of the counter-revolution. Here's an example of Buchanan at his best:
    "Indeed, in the savagery of the attacks on Gibson what is coming out of the closet is a visceral hatred of Christianity.

    "Consider: Art critics have instructed us to appreciate that the 'Piss Christ,' a figurine of Jesus on the Cross in a jar or urine, was art; that a portrait of the Madonna with elephant dung smeared on it and female genitalia surrounding the face is artistic freedom of expression that must be respected.

    "We were told 'The Last Temptation of Christ,' that portrayed Jesus as a lustful wimp pining over Mary Magdalene, was a beautiful film. Yet the same critics tell us 'The Passion' is an insult to decency that should never have been made.

    "Now, it seems, comes payback time. Apparently, Hollywood, that bastion of artistic freedom where the First Amendment is the First Commandment, intends to blacklist Gibson."
He Knows from whence he Speaks

Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Christ in The Passion of the Christ, speaking to the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, from Jim Caviezel: Shamelessly Catholic:
    "I have been scourged, crucified, and, oh yes, struck by lightning. I know from whence I speak. That's why I came here to show this remarkable film that speaks for itself. I want all of you to have the courage to go out into this pagan world and shamelessly express your Catholic faith in public."
Cristo Redentor

From Tourist held over Rio nudity:

Friday, March 05, 2004


Fareed Zakaria, author of The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad, would probably label South Korea an illiberal democracy. The "democratization" that began in the 1980's and culminated in the election of Kim Dae-jung in 1998 has resulted in the following situation, as described in The Independent Press Under Siege and the Crisis in Representative Democracy:
    "The crisis they face today lies in how this public is being exchanged for a 'mass' and a 'crowd' that responds emotionally and acts spontaneously to the symbol manipulation of political authority....

    "...Political authority has unleashed an all-out attack on the independent press. The attack is indiscriminate in its means. To begin with, has blocked the press from carrying out its essential functions, by denying access and refusing coverage by the independent press.

    "Looking at the kind of choices President Roh Moo-hyun has made in giving press interviews since his inauguration, you are immediately able to draw a map of the press, complete with the media that are to be avoided and the media that are in good favor. The existence and news covering activities of the critical and independent press is being thoroughly ignored. This would be unimaginable in a properly democratic society.

    "There are programs from public broadcasting that attack the [conservative newspapers] Chosun Ilbo and the DongA Ilbo. Demonstrations using signs and loud speakers take place in front of both newspapers. There is stone throwing by internet masses using vulgar and low grade language. There are campaigns touring the country encouraging a boycotts. These developments speak of their persistence.

    "The vanguard of these attacks on the independent press are attempting to dissolve the independently thinking and rationally acting people into the masses and crowds that can be manipulated by mob psychology and mass psychology, turning them into ignorant and riotous masses. The result is a reality where there is essentially no press, a situation you cannot find in a modern nation, since political authority blocks its ears to criticism from the independent press while the ideologically aligned media obey that political authority."
Amerasians in Asia

Amerasians: Neither here nor there is an article that describes the difficulties of childern of American soldiers and Asian mothers living in South Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian nations. While the article does correctly point out the racial discrimination, especially against the children of Black Americans, that exists in a homogenous country like South Korea, it does not adequately mention that many of the Amerasians' problems result from the fact that they were abandoned by their fathers.
Confucianism in Korea

A Chinese exchange student in Korea once told me that Chinese had to come to Korea to experience traditional Chinese culture in practice. Asia's Oldest Confucian Ceremonies Live on in South Korea provides an example of this. From the Traditionalist Conservatism Page comes an excellent and postive essay entitled Confucius Today
Lenten Listening

Estonian composer Arvo  Part's Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem, composed in 1982, combines the medieval and renaissance traditions of sacred vocal music with 20th Century dissonance, producing a timeless and meditative masterpiece ideal for the Lenten season.

"Passion" to be Censored in Korea?

[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Waiting for 'Passion'
Kim Jong-il & John Kerry (Part II)

I thought the cartoon I posted below might be a bit exaggerated, until I read this:
On the Many Errors of the National Council of Churches

Among them, Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse, a Greek Orthodox priest, mentions the NCC"s position on North Korea. From
A Faith-Based Case for Gulags
    "At least the NCC displayed a minimal awareness of the massive suffering taking place in North Korea. No mention was made however, that the totalitarian policies of the North Korean government was the cause. It was silent about the Korean Gulags, of the millions dead by starvation, and of the shattered economy that directs all spending into the North Korean military machine. Moral condemnation was reserved for the United States alone. In February, the world learned that 50,000 people were imprisoned in Camp 22 -- North Korea's largest concentration camp -- where horrific chemical weapons experiments were conducted on prisoners.  Many in the North Korean Gulag are Christians, a group hated by dictator Kim Jong-il."
Kim Jong-il & John Kerry Cartoon

From Good News!:

    "The newspaper says John Kerry will be the U.S. Democratic Party's candidate for President in 2004. Kim Jong Il gets on the phone to Kerry's campaign headquarters to ask, 'Is there anything I can do to help?'"

Thursday, March 04, 2004

No Gun Ri or no No Gun Ri?

No Gun Ri is the name of a Korean village where a massacre of up to 400 Korean civilians by American soldiers was alleged to have taken place in July, 1950 during the Korean War. The Associated Press broke the story in 1999, and its writers were awarded the Pulitzer Prize the following year. The story incited indignation among Koreans, President Clinton issued a poorly recieved statement of regret, and Defense Secretary William Cohen oredered an investigation.

No Gun Ri was in the news twice today. The South Korean goverment announced today that under a new law it will compile a list of names of the victims and survivors of the incident and construct a monument at its site. [See S. Korea to Make List of Refugee Victims.] At the same time, the credibility of the No Gun Ri story has been called into question and it is not clear whether or not the massacre ever took place. [See Korean War 'Massacre' Story Not True.]

As an interesting historical footnote, soon after the No Gun Ri story broke in Korea, allegations surfaced about massacres of a total of up to 5000 Vietnamese civilians committed by South Korean troops during the Vietnam War. [See SOUTH KOREA: Exposed South Korean Soldiers Massacred Vietnamese during Vietnam War and Vietnam builds memorial to wartime massacre.] To the credit of the South Korean people, a report cited that 77.9% supported an official apology and compensation for the victims. [See South Koreans demand compensation for Vietnam War massacre victims.] However,
    "An official at the foreign ministry in charge of Vietnamese affairs said neither Hanoi nor Seoul wanted to dig up the past and undermine their expanding ties."

Han Hong Koo, professor of modern Korean history at Sungkonghoe (Anglican) University, quoted in For Koreans, Vietnam War Wounds Heal Slowly, said the following:
    "What happened in No Gun Ri and what happened in Vietnam were the same thing. It was the massacre of civilians by soldiers. In act one we were the victims, and in act two we were the victimizers.

    "We Koreans had an image of ourselves as peace-loving people, but for the first time that image was shattered."

South Korean Silence

While stories like Scientist Describes Chemical Tests on Prisoners and North Korea's Use of Chemical Torture Alleged have received coverage in the international press, apart from The Chosun Ilbo, a conservative paper, there has been nothing but silence about these allegations from Korea’s other major English-language news outlets, The Dong-A Ilbo, Joong Ang Daily, The Korea Herald, Korea Times, and Yonhap News. My wife tells me the Korean-language media are also silent. I can think of two possible explanations for this:

1. The Korean media are too savvy to be duped by a right-wing conspiracy led by the “evil” George Bush to discredit their brothers in the North, or

2. It is too painful for the Korean media to admit that fellow Koreans are responsible for what may be the worst human rights violation thus far in the 21st. Century.

South, North Korean Churches to Talk Reunification in Germany

From what I've read, the official North Korean "Christians" are a feeble attempt by the goverment of the Stalinist regime to make foreigners believe religious liberty exists. The real Christians who refuse to worship Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il are sent off to the prison camps, some of them used for the chemical experimentation documented below.
DPRK Human Experimentation

From Scientist Describes Chemical Tests on Prisoners and North Korea's Use of Chemical Torture Alleged:
    "'It is not easy for me to speak about this because I am a criminal myself,' said the chemist, a man in his 50s, at the beginning of a halting and emotional three-hour interview last week that was arranged by a U.S.-based human rights group.

    "The chemist said the experiment he witnessed took place at a military prison near Pyongsong, 15 miles north of the capital, Pyongyang. At the time, he was a PhD candidate. He was invited to witness the experiment because his dissertation involved the chemical compounds being tested — cyanide and ortho-nitrochlorobenzene.

    "The chemist said that the prison was known to house political prisoners. He said that they were kept in stacked cages made of concrete and wire 'like rabbit hutches.' The two men in the experiment, he said, were unshaven and emaciated and 'they looked barely human.' They were brought to the chamber in wheelchairs, he said. He could not determine their ages.

    "The chemist said the men were tested separately in a chamber with a large window on one side — where scientists and officials observed. It was outfitted with bright lights, a speaker system that allowed the scientists to clearly hear the prisoners' screams and a nozzle to spray the chemicals.

    "'One man was scratching desperately. He scratched his neck, his chest. He was wearing a gray prison uniform, and he tore it off. He was covered in blood…. I tried to look away,' said the chemist, who said he watched with other researchers from behind the glass. 'I kept trying to look away. I knew how toxic these chemicals were in even small doses.'

    "It took three hours for each man to die, the chemist said.

    "'It was horrible. They were screaming and yelling…. They seemed to develop some superhuman strength before they died. I kept thinking: It is not so simple to kill a human being after all,' he said, his voice cracking. 'This is not something you want to remember.'

    "After the men were dead, guards in gas masks and full body suits pulled the prisoners into an uncontaminated compartment of the chamber to examine them."
NK Refugees

From N. Korean Women Find Life of Abuse Waiting in China:
    "South Korean government officials and human rights groups say the vast majority of the North Korean women [who escape into China] are sold into temporary or long-term service as sexual slaves or suffer other kinds of sexual or physical abuse, often inside entertainment clubs."

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

"The Passion" and Catholic Teaching

The movie has yet to open in Korea, but reviews like Passion, Catholicism, and Christianity, which demonstrates the film's subtle treatment of deep theological issues, make me want to see it all the more.
DPRK Gulag Video Link

From a very interesting blog, Free North Korea!, comes this link to Windows Media Player (r) video footage of a North Korean prison camp:
North Korean Apologist Bruce Cumings

Leaders dear and great is a postive review of Kim Jong-Il: North Korea's Dear Leader by Michael Breen. It begins with an examination of the North:
    "No one who has visited North Korea is likely ever to forget the experience. It is an encounter with political evil in its most absolute and uncompromising guise. The inhabitants of the country are not, of course, themselves evil; but they are caught up in a regime in which everything that is not forbidden is compulsory, and what is compulsory is monstrous. For once, it really is the system that is at fault."

Most intersting, however, is the reviewer's criticism of Bruce Cumings, author of North Korea: Another Country:
    "Mr Breen, although not a scholar, is vastly more sensible and imaginative than Professor Bruce Cumings, a renowned historian at the University of Chicago, who has spent much of his career trying to prove what is not true, namely that the Korean War was started by the Americans and their allies in the South. Even he is now back-pedalling on this claim, but he still offers apologetics for the North [North Korea: Another Country, The New Press, £14.95]. He blames its paranoid isolation, its preposterous propaganda, and its virtual enslavement of its people on American conduct in the Korean war. This is the equivalent of blaming Nazism on the Treaty of Versailles.

    "Like every useful idiot before him, Professor Cumings is much impressed by free child-care and kindergartens, much more so than by gulags and famines. There is no Potemkin village so transparently a fraud that he would not be taken in by it. Such matters as collective family responsibility, whereby entire families are severely punished for the political dissent of one of its members, do not impinge on his imagination - a faculty with which he is not much blessed."

DPRK Defectors Tell their Stories

North Korean Defectors Tell of Cannibalism, Torture, Lost Families at the "5th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights & Refugees," held from Feb. 29 to March 2 in Warsaw, Poland. National Remembrance Institute president Leon Kieres said in his keynote address,
    "Even though I've never been to the Far East, when I look at the situation as a Pole, a people who have experienced things like the Nazi Holocaust, there are clearly things in common between the North Korean prison camps and those of the Nazis and Soviets."

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Thanks for the Link

Sancta Sanctis
Fifth Columnists

This, the best article on "The Passion of the Christ" I have read to date, was brought to my attention reading A conservative blog for peace:

The author takes "forces of militant secularism and the Fifth Column within the Catholic Church" to task for their criticism of the film.

A conservative blog for peace also provided a link to the best review I have read about the film, Roger Ebert's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST / **** (R).
"Deafening Silence" on DPRK Human Rights

From Look who's trying to help:
    "In an annual report on human rights around the world issued last Thursday, the U.S. State Department branded North Korea as one of the cruelest regimes and the worst abuser of the rights of its citizens. The news followed another report by Britain's BBC-TV on Feb. 4 that North Korea was killing political prisoners in gas chambers. The BBC report said it had uncovered documentary evidence that North Korea was testing new chemical weapons on women and children, the families of dissidents and political prisoners, held in secret jails.

    "But those reports were greeted by deafening silence from the administration of President Roh who prided himself in having been a human rights lawyer. Maybe, he was only concerned with the human rights of those who were persecuted by the conservative rulers in the South and couldn't care less about the rights and fate of his fellow Koreans who are being abused and murdered by the Stalinist regime in the North."
Two Views

From Conservatives and Progressives Celebrate March 1 Uprising Separately:

    "On March 1, the conservatives held a rally on the Seoul City Hall plaza (left), and the progressives held one at Pagoda Park. The conflict between the conservatives calling for a strengthened Korea-U.S. alliance and the progressives for intra-national unity is a microcosm of Korean society."

Regarding the "conservatives," this comes from Thousands mark March 1 with protests:
    "An estimated 30,000 pro-U.S. demonstrators from more than 140 conservative groups, including the Christian Council of Korea and the nationwide Veterans of Korea, waved paper Korean and American flags at the plaza in front of Seoul City Hall.

    "Organizers called it a national movement to eliminate pro-North Korean and leftist elements in the country.

    "They advocate closer cooperation between South Korea and the United States to push out North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and bring about permanent peace and security on the Korean Peninsula."

And, from the same source, comes this about the "progressives":
    "Meantime, about 600 members of progressive groups, including the Korea Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation as well as religious groups, gathered in Jongno for a joint event.

    "Their initial demonstration in front of the Japanese Embassy drew about 70 protesters who warned that Japan was using American power to prevent peace between the two Koreas."

Monday, March 01, 2004

A Painting by Korean Artist Kwon Yeo-hyun

From Revisiting art history through assumed personas:

DPRK Gulag

Yesterday, I finished reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Densisovich by Alexander Sozhenitsyn. That book came to mind seeing these photos from Footage of N Korea's Prison Camp Aired on Japan's Fuji TV:

    Political prisoners carry human excrement from homes of guards and security officials at Yodeok Political Prison Camp in South Hamgyeong Province, North Korea.

    Political prisoners at Noth's Yodeok Political Prison Camp eat frozen cabbage leaves in order to sooth hunger. They hastily hide the leaves as soon as the prison guards come.
March First Independence Movement Day

Today is a national holiday in Korea, commemorating the March 1, 1919 Declaration of Independence. Korea was at the time under Japanese colonial rule. It would not, however, be until the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II that Korea would know independence.

The Independence Movement, an article by John Kie-chiang Oh, Professor Emeritus of the Catholic University of America, explores the role of religion, specifically Christianity, Buddhism, and the native Korean Tonghak/Chondogyo, in the events of that day.