Korean journo impressed by Pinoy’s passion for faith

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Korean women came to Mass at the wearing their national costumes and chapel veils (Photo by Michael Dalogdog)

Korean women came to Mass at the wearing their national costumes and chapel veils (Photo by Michael Dalogdog)

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016 – A South Korean journalist covering the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) has shared her impression of the faith of Filipinos, noting the honor and passion they show in being Catholics.

“Philippine Catholics are proud and passionate. They surprised me, and I was very pleased,” declared Cristina Eunyoung Kim, who works for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK), in a recent interview.

Contrasting Catholics in the two Asian nations, she pointed out the major difference lies in how they express their faith.

Kim went on to explain that while they may be just as devoted, Catholics who comprise a minority in the peninsula tend to be inhibited and not as showy about their religion.

According to her, this must be ultimately due to historical circumstances.

Two hundred years back, she noted, Korean Catholics often had to live out their faith in hiding for fear of reprisal, and this is something many of the present generation of faithful have carried over.

“In Korea, many Catholics hide their faith. Korea is a multi-religion country and they don’t want conflict between other religions. I guess the silent faith of Koreans is caused by persecutions from two centuries ago. The persecutions made Catholics hide themselves,” she added.

As a first-timer in the Philippines, she said she had to study much about the host country.

“I found the Philippines is a very great nation,” she said.

“Korea, like the Philippines, used to be a colony. But Filipinos didn’t lose their pride in spite of the colony era of Spain for a long time. Your history deeply moved me,” she added.

The 37-year old from Seoul had previously covered the 50th IEC in Dublin, Ireland in 2012.

Kim said Catholics in South Korea make up approximately 10 percent of the total population. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

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