Updated: December 10, 2020 05:53 AM GMT
Father Kim Young-sik, the representative of the National Priests Association, reads a declaration demanding reforms in front of the Supreme Prosecutors' Office in Seoul on Dec. 7. (Photo: Catholic Times.org)
Thousands of Catholic priests and nuns marched through Seoul demanding reform in South Korea's prosecution system, which they called evil, manipulative, and detrimental to innocent people.Some 4,000 people, including around 1,000 priests and more than 2,800 nuns, ended their rally outside the Supreme Prosecutor's Office in the capital on Dec. 7 and held a media conference.The National Priests' Association, which coordinated the protest, also presented a declaration before the media demanding reform of the prosecution process, a growing national demand that began in 2019. Priests' association president Father Kim Young-sik read out the declaration that called for "immediate steps" to be taken to bring about change."The reason why these priests and religious stand stay quietly on the road is that our democracy, which was gained through sacrifices and dedication, is again at a crossroads," Father Kim said.The declaration he readout said the Korean prosecution system practiced evil behavior by manipulating cases to make innocent people criminals. It also secretly covered up crimes and cleared criminals, it said."The prosecution's independence will begin when its tyranny is ended," Father Kim said.The demand for reform became a nationwide movement in 2019 following a tussle between the Korean government and the top public prosecutor's office over change.Trouble began when the prosecutor's office and the minority conservative party attempted to block reform approved by the National Assembly and the administration of President Moon Jae-in, the nation's third Catholic president.Moon's Democratic Party of Korea came to power in 2017 with a reform agenda following the downfall of former president, Park Geun-hye, over corruption scandals.