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Anti-abortion prayer campaign launched in South Korea

Catholic weekly seeks to protect 'priceless gifts of God' after Constitutional Court ruling

ucanews.com reporter, Seoul

ucanews.com reporter, Seoul

Published: June 07, 2019 05:32 AM GMT

Updated: June 07, 2019 07:02 AM GMT

Anti-abortion prayer campaign launched in South Korea

The Catholic Times, the most influential and oldest Catholic weekly in South Korea, is promoting the culture of life with a prayer campaign to end abortion. (Photo supplied)

The Catholic Times has launched an ambitious prayer campaign to end abortion in South Korea after a recent Constitutional Court ruling decriminalizing the practice.

The weekly newspaper produced a prayer text requesting the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, protectress of the unborn, and urged Korean faithful to recite prayers. As of June 7, Koreans had offered more than 15,000 prayers.

The Constitutional Court ruled in April that the criminal law punishing abortion is unconstitutional, which overturned the criminalization of abortion since 1953.

Since the decision, the weekly has been producing stories with the theme “Let’s Make a Culture of Love and Life” and the prayer campaign is one of its efforts.

Father Pius Yi Ki-soo, president of the Catholic weekly, said: “Numerous lives of fetuses are perishing due to abortion — lives which are priceless gifts of God. Please join our campaign to save the lives of all fetuses.”

In 2017, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea held a 100-day prayer movement while collecting signatures objecting to the decriminalization of abortion. From 2013 to 2015, it held 40-day prayer campaigns over the Lenten period.

“However, in spite of such prayer campaigns, there were voices that the Church needs more sustainable ones. The Catholic Times’ prayer campaign will continue until abortion ends in Korea,” Father Yi said.

In April, the archbishop of Seoul spoke out after the Constitutional Court called for a legislative change to partially allow termination in the early stage of pregnancy.

While some women’s and medical organizations welcomed the decision as giving women the right to self-determination, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung used his Easter message to express his concerns.

“A nation has a responsibility to protect its people’s lives and safety under any circumstances. Every life, from the moment of conception, should be protected as a human being and secured with its dignity,” he said.

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While urging lawmakers to carefully amend the law, he asked the faithful to be the first to choose life rather than death.

“We, people of God, should concretely serve and sacrifice for life. Among various social obstacles and difficulties, we Christians should strictly refuse the culture and temptation for death,” he said.

“When we, ourselves, start choosing, respecting and respecting every life as it is, we will definitely be able to experience the Risen Lord living right here with us.”

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