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The challenges facing South Korea in organizing the next World Youth Day

A Mexican missionary in South Korea, a priest from the Diocese of Seoul, and a woman religious from Korea who resides in Spain explained the expectations and difficulties of organizing the next World Youth Day in 2027 to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner.

Father Ramiro Zúñiga has been working in South Korea for 24 years, where there is “a young, very lively Church, with many successes” from a vocational, economic, and organizational point of view.

However, the Church also has “many challenges, because economic prosperity does not always entail spiritual well-being in the faith. For many people, economic security and the “good life,” becomes one’s security where God is no longer needed.”

The “boom that occurred in the ’80s and ’90s, when there were hundreds of people baptized in each church” has subsided, just as “the number of children, adolescents, and young people who attend Mass” has decreased, the missionary told ACI Prensa.

Father Yoo Sanghyuk, a priest of the Diocese of Seoul, explained that “about 10% of the total population of Korea is Catholic” and noted that, although their communities “grew rapidly during difficult times, they are now following the European churches” in a certain decline.

However, the Catholic Church “still has a good influence” in the country, he noted.

Helena Oh Yun Geon, a missionary sister who resides in Spain, observed that despite not being numerous, “people respect Catholics very much and love priests and religious very much,” even though they do not profess the same faith.

This is due to their interfaith effort to work together especially for the rights of the poor and for peace around the world, but in a particular way for peace between North and South Koreans.

Read more at Catholic News Agency 

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