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South Korea

Korean Catholics help strife-torn Christians in Burkina Faso

Seoul Archdiocese steps up to help the West African country deal with Covid-19, Islamic terrorism and climate change

UCA News reporter, Seoul

UCA News reporter, Seoul

Published: June 02, 2021 08:44 AM GMT

Updated: June 02, 2021 09:54 AM GMT

Korean Catholics help strife-torn Christians in Burkina Faso

Cardinal Andrew Yeom of Seoul blesses a new ambulance donated to the Archdiocese of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. (Photo: Archdiocese of Seoul)

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul has sent US$200,000 in emergency aid to Burkina Faso to help Christians and other people facing difficulties including Covid-19, Islamic terrorism and climate change in the West African country.

The aid was delivered to Cardinal Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo, archbishop of Ouagadougou in the nation’s capital, according to a press release from Seoul Archdiocese.

Burkina Faso is facing acute food and nutrition insecurity resulting from climate change. The country is also struggling to contain the spread of jihadists linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State who have killed thousands and displaced more than a million people recently.

According to UNICEF, growing insecurity coupled with the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak has already exacerbated chronic vulnerabilities in the region, having a devastating impact on children’s survival, education, protection and development.

Father Matthias Hur Young-yup, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Seoul, said the donation was collected from people in honor of late Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk.

“Cardinal Andrew Yeom expressed his gratitude to people who have made donations to charity in honor of the late Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, who had donated his organs and corneas. At the same time, Cardinal Yeom is trying to lend a helping hand to those in need not only within the country but also around the world,” he said.

It has also provided support for priestly formation by inviting Ouagadougo seminarians to study at Seoul Theological Seminary

The archdioceses of Seoul and Ouagadougou developed fraternal solidarity following Cardinal Yeom’s visit to Burkina Faso in February 2018 when he heard about difficulties faced by people in the country.

During the visit, the Archdiocese of Seoul inked a pact with Burkina Faso to enhance cooperation in evangelization with an aim to promote sustainable development in medication and education and to help with the country’s financial situation.

Since then, Seoul Archdiocese has been supporting various operations within the Archdiocese of Ouagadougou. It has also provided support for priestly formation by inviting Ouagadougo seminarians to study at Seoul Theological Seminary.

Medical support has also begun in collaboration between Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital and Ouagadougo Paul VI Hospital by transporting patients and educating medical teams.

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In addition, the contract between the two archdioceses has been extended for another three years until February 2024.

Cardinal Yeom and Cardinal Ouédraogo were elevated to cardinals by Pope Francis on the same day in February 2014.

Cardinal Ouédraogo visited Korea during the apostolic journey of Pope Francis to Korea in 2014 and attended the installation of auxiliary Bishop Job Yobi Koo of Seoul in 2017.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Seoul has been supporting emergency relief funds and basic necessities to many countries including El Salvador and Indonesia.

In March, it donated $50,000 in emergency aid to Myanmar.

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