Clerics of four major religions and leaders of human rights groups discuss how to fully abolish the death penalty in Korea at a June 22 discussion session held at the National Assembly. (Photo by The Catholic Times of Korea)
With a new government in power in Korea, the Catholic Church is now pushing for the complete abolition of the death penalty in the country.
The Subcommittee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment, under the Korean bishops' Committee for Justice and Peace, jointly held a discussion session with lawmaker Fidelis Lee Sang-min of the ruling Minjoo Party at the National Assembly.
Lawmakers and clerics of four major religions, civic and human rights activists joined the talks.
"We should try hard to stop capital punishment. What we are talking about is people killing other people," said Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik of Daejeon, president of the justice and peace committee.
"I wish the National Assembly would completely abolish it in order not to kill creatures of God," said the bishop.
During the discussion session, participating clerics decided to collect signatures in a bid to push the parliament to present a bill abolishing capital punishment.
In addition, it was agreed that a special event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the suspension of the death penalty in Korea would be held on Oct. 10, the World Day Against the Death Penalty.
There are 61 people currently on death row in the country. The last person executed by the state was in 1997.
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.