Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gays and Allies Defy Anti-Gay Activists at WCC in Korea

Pro-gay Christians rally in central Seoul to demand full equality under God for all Koreans.  Rev. Daniel Payne, center in clergy collar, Jun-Young Lee translating. (Chungwook Park photo).

Pro-gay Christians rally in central Seoul to demand full equality under God for all Koreans. Rev. Daniel Payne, center in clergy collar, Jun-Young Lee translating. (Chungwook Park photo).

Busan and Seoul, South Korea – Gay Christians and their Affirming Allies from the World Council of Churches (WCC) took to the streets in Busan and Seoul to show their support for LGBTQ people this week, in open defiance of the large, well-funded conservative opponents of equality for the sexual minority.  Declaring that “Gays are God’s Creation, Too!” dozens of gay affirming clergy and lay people from countries around the world joined local progressive Christians to push back against the ostracism the conservative Protestant establishment wants to maintain against any gay or lesbian who dares to come out openly in the Republic of Korea.  The Korea Times covered the event, citing the Rev. Daniel Payne and Jun-Young Lee of Open Doors Community Church, a Seoul-based progressive Christian Church that welcomes gays and straights alike.  In a statment to the press, the Affirming protesters decried harm and abuse condoned by the religious establishment in South Korea, declaring such oppression to be against the teachings of Jesus Christ: “We underscore once again that the violent bigotry against sexual minorities in the name of Christianity fully contradicts the Christian mandate to love thy neighbor. We declare as follows as we unite and pray together so that this social abuse in Korean society will be ended.”  The gay-friendly protests took place in Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul.

A “Confucianized-Christian” establishment in South Korea continues to make this East Asian nation reject homosexuality on biblical and moral grounds, exalting patriarchal versions of faith and family to seal the deal.  But progressive Christians, gay and straight, are emerging with their religious and secular allies to demand full equality and dignity for Korea’s sexual minority.  Citing the Bible from an intelligent, informed interpretation that refutes the literalism customary in most Protestant churches in South Korea, these progressive Christians are making a growing case for the protection and inclusion of LGBTQ people throughout the Land of Morning Calm.

Establishment Protestant leaders who are embarrassed by the open hostility towards the World Council of Churches meeting in Busan this week are having to rethink their opposition to gay equality, rightly concerned about being lumped into a troubled fundamentalist power structure that bears little or no resemblance to the Christian teachings on the creation of all people in God’s image and likeness, and the Good News of God’s Love.  Reports circulated in Seoul that religious zealots were transporting human excrement to Busan to spray on WCC delegates, much as they had at the same-sex wedding of gay filmmaker Kim Jho Gwang-soo in September.

November 4, 2013 Posted by | GLBTQ, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Homosexuality and the Bible, Kim Jho Kwang-soo, LGBTQ, Open Doors Community Church Korea, Protests and Demonstrations, religious intolerance, Social Justice Advocacy, South Korea, World Council of Churches (WCC) | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gays and Allies Defy Anti-Gay Activists at WCC in Korea

   

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