The Listening Process

Reports from the Provinces - The Anglican Church of Korea.

Traditionally Confucianism formed the basis of the cultural perspective of Korea. Within this culture it was impossible to talk of things which were hidden. There is a belief that what happens in private is not the concern of anyone else.

In recent years modern South Korea has seen rapid secularisation and this has included moves for human rights. However, homophobia is strong in the nation  and there is discrimination against homosexual people in the work place and in general life. This has been seen in the story of a high profile actor who recently declared himself gay and has not been offered acting work since.

Modern secularisation has brought other issues. The breakdown of the family is a concern for the Church. The divorce rate is the second highest in the world and the Church is attempting to counter this with good teaching for couples coming for marriage. This is the priority issue on sexuality for the Church.

The Church began its listening process in 1998 when the bishops invited lesbian and gay groups to talk about the problems they had in society and how the Church could assist.

The membership of the Church is not of one mind on the issue of homosexuality. Some share the attitudes of the nation, others are open to the inclusion of gay and lesbian people and many are not interested and do not want to talk about the issues.