Category : South Korea

Archbishop Justin Welby welcomes Korean Anglican leader to Lambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed the Primate of the Anglican Church of Korea to Lambeth Palace yesterday.

Archbishop Paul Kim is visiting London and Canterbury with directors from the Christian Broadcasting System of Korea (CBS) to give them a better understanding of the Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, South Korea

ABC Nightline profiles Seoul, a Plastic Surgery Tourism Hot Spot

Tonight we’re about to take you to the place where hundreds of thousands come every year for a tempting bargain. But is it really worth it?

You’re about to meet a woman who flew 6,000 milines to get what she really wants, but is it worth it? If plastic surgery had a Mecca, it would be the ritzy district of South Korea. Everywhere you look there are women seemingly trying to look like the plastic doll-like plastic people here.

Thousands travel to Korea from all over the globe to go under the knife. I think the results would be here in Korea because they know the asian face better. Reporter: The plastic surgeons in Korea are regarded as among the best in the world that attracts clients like this lady.

Read or watch it all (note the transcript link at the bottom of the page).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Asia, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, South Korea, Stewardship, Theology, Women, Young Adults

(NYT) A South Korean City With 250 Holes in Its Heart

Nearly three quarters of Danwon [High School]’s 11th graders died two weeks ago in the sinking of a ferry that ranks as one of the country’s deadliest disasters in recent decades.

“I’ve seen these kids grow up. I know each of their faces,” said Mr. Kim[In-jea], 57, who lives nearby and said seven of his neighbors lost their children. “To say that this neighborhood feels empty would be an understatement. This neighborhood feels like a morgue.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, South Korea, Theology

Absolutely Positively must not miss–The Baby Drop Box Story from the Korean Church

“The Drop Box” – Documentary Trailer from Arbella Studios on Vimeo.

Worth every second of the three minutes of your time it takes to watch–touching, heart-rending, and encouraging–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Asia, Children, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, South Korea, Theology

South Korea Sex Change Doctor– I correct 'God's mistakes'

As Dr. Kim Seok-Kwun begins surgery to create a functioning penis for a Buddhist monk who was born female, he is well aware of the unease his work creates in this deeply conservative country. The devout Protestant known as the “father of South Korean transgender people” once wrestled with similar feelings.

“I’ve decided to defy God’s will,” Kim, 61, said in an interview before the monk’s recent successful surgery to become a man. “At first, I agonized over whether I should do these operations because I wondered if I was defying God. I was overcome with a sense of shame. But my patients desperately wanted these surgeries. Without them, they’d kill themselves.”

Kim is a pioneer in slowly changing views on sexuality and gender in South Korea, where many have long considered even discussions of sexuality a taboo. He has conducted about 320 sex change operations over the past 28 years, widely believed to be the most by any single doctor in the country.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Men, Psychology, Sexuality, South Korea, Theology, Women

(CT) Suicide Bus Bombing Kills South Korean Christians on Holy Land Pilgrimage

A bus full of South Korean Christians who saved money for years in order to visit biblical sites in Egypt and Israel were attacked Sunday by a suicide bomber.

Four people were killed in the bombing, including the Egyptian driver, a church member, and two South Korean guides. At least 14 others were injured, the Associated Press reports.

This is not the first time South Korean Christians have been the target of violence in a foreign country. In 2007, after a 43-day hostage situation left two South Korean missionaries dead in Afghanistan, South Korea subsequently banned citizens from traveling to certain majority-Muslim countries””which proved to be a blessing in disguise for Korean Christians.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Egypt, Evangelicals, Israel, Middle East, Other Churches, South Korea, Violence

Letters to the Editor on the WSJ $4 Million per Year South Korea Teacher Story

Read it all (For those not following this, the original blog post may be found there).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Children, Education, South Korea

(CT) Company with Ties to Pastor whom some see in messianic terms buys Newsweek

…few sites are noting that IBT has significant ties to David Jang, the Korean pastor hailed by some of his followers as a messianic figure, a “Second Coming Christ.”

Christianity Today published two major articles on Jang last year, quoting multiple sources who described an international network with Jang as its spiritual””and sometimes even operational””leader.

Jang has been a controversial figure in Asia since 2008, when a committee of Hong Kong theologians and church leaders “unanimously expressed its serious apprehensions and concerns.” His views and influence continue to be debated in South Korea and in the U.S. And last year, the National Association of Evangelicals appointed a committee to determine “theological compatibility” between the Jang-founded Olivet University and the Southern Baptist Convention’s LifeWay Christian Resources. The findings of that committee have not been publicly released, but after reviewing the committee’s report LifeWay officials withdrew from plans to sell a 2,100-acre New Mexico conference center to the school.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Adult Education, Asia, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, South Korea

(WSJ Saturday Essay) The $4 Million Teacher in South Korea

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher””a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world. Mr. Kim has been teaching for over 20 years, all of them in the country’s private, after-school tutoring academies, known as hagwons. Unlike most teachers across the globe, he is paid according to the demand for his skills””and he is in high demand.

Mr. Kim works about 60 hours a week teaching English, although he spends only three of those hours giving lectures. His classes are recorded on video, and the Internet has turned them into commodities, available for purchase online at the rate of $4 an hour. He spends most of his week responding to students’ online requests for help, developing lesson plans and writing accompanying textbooks and workbooks (some 200 to date).

“The harder I work, the more I make,” he says matter of factly. “I like that.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Education, South Korea

(Reuters) South Koreans face lonely deaths as Confucian traditions fade

When South Korean widow Yoon Sook-hee, 62, died after a bout of pneumonia in mid-January, she joined a growing number of old people in this Asian country who die alone and was cremated only thanks to the charity of people who never knew her.

Once a country where filial duty and a strong Confucian tradition saw parents revered, modern day South Korea, with a population of 50 million, has grown economically richer, but family ties have fragmented. Nowadays 1.2 million elderly South Koreans, just over 20 percent of the elderly population, live – and increasingly die – alone.

Yoon’s former husband, whom she divorced 40 years ago, relinquished responsibility after being contacted by the hospital and told of her death. Her only son was unreachable as he had long broken off all contact with his parents.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Asia, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, South Korea, Theology

(LA Times) The Top 10 YouTube videos of 2012

South Korean pop sensation Psy’s “Gangnam Style” has become the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, with the infectious music video approaching 1 billion views worldwide.

The wildfire popularity of the four-minute song and dance video, uploaded just six months ago, represents an inflection point for the online video site, as YouTube’s entertainment offerings expand beyond candid homemade videos such as “Charlie Bit My Finger” or such made-for-TV moments as Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” performance from the show “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, Globalization, Media, Science & Technology, South Korea

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–The World’s Biggest Congregation

LUCKY SEVERSON, correspondent: There are big churches, and then there’s the Yoido Full Gospel Church here in Seoul, South Korea. It’s the mother of megachurches, with the largest congregation in the world. On a typical day 200,000 will attend one of seven services along with another two or three hundred thousand watching them on TV in adjoining buildings or satellite branches. While some other churches may be losing members, this one just keeps growing. The main sanctuary here holds 21,000 worshipers packed to the rafters seven times every Sunday. Each service has its own orchestra, its own choir, its own pastor. There are hundreds of assistants. There need to be. Each service is translated into 16 different languages for visitors. Karen Kim is a pastor with the church’s international division. She says she was shocked when she first moved here from Australia.

KAREN KIM: I think when you’ve got people this size, like you have to have structure, and you have to have organization, because otherwise people would be getting killed. Like you can’t just let it all just take care of itself. Like there has to be like organized rosters of volunteers and things like that to get people in and out of the service, or these people will literally die and get crushed….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Parish Ministry, South Korea

Korean Anglicans join opposition to Gangjeong village naval base

The Anglican Church of Korea has lent its voice of opposition to a plan for a new naval base on Jeju island that has prompted protests from other religious and environmental groups.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Asia, South Korea

Korean Bible instructor held following China raid

Chinese police are holding a South Korean Bible instructor and his wife following a raid on an underground Protestant church, an activist group said Wednesday, as the government pressures Christians worshipping outside the Communist-controlled church.

The instructor, whose Chinese name was given as Jin Yongzhe, was detained Tuesday along with dozens of other Christians during a police assault on a three-floor church building in the central province of Henan’s Weishi county, the U.S.-based China Aid Association said.

The church building was searched and thousands of dollars worth of property seized during the raid, which the association said targeted a religious education seminar being held there.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, South Korea

South Korea Probes Possible Cyberattack on Large Bank

Authorities in South Korea are probing a large system failure at a popular bank, trying to determine whether the incident was an error or a cybercrime that could be repeated elsewhere in the country where business leans largely on electronic transactions.

Problems at the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation began on April 12 and lasted for several days. During that time, customers were blocked from online and automated teller machine transactions. While some services have returned, issues persist with access to credit card information.

The incident has generated 300,000 complaints and prompted pledges of compensation to the agricultural lender’s customers as its affected network gets up to speed again this week, local media said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Science & Technology, South Korea, The Banking System/Sector