Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

“Prepare comprehensive measures to end sexual violence in the churches”

2017-09-08 17:09

Christian women’s organizations are speaking out with one voice for the eradication of sexual violence in the churches. Following the recent succession of sexual assaults by members of the clergy, a chorus of calls from church women is demanding preparation of fundamental measures.

On September 7, the umbrella organization “Joint Action: Church Sexual Violence OUT” (Joint Action) held a demonstration (photo) in front of the headquarters of the Korean Methodist Church (KMC; Jeon Myeong-gu, Council of Bishops president) on Sejong-daero in Jongno-gu, Seoul, holding a banner that declared, “That minister is guilty of sexual violence,” and calling for solution of the problem of sexual violence within the churches.

Joint Action demanded that the KMC dismiss and suspend from ministry “Rev. A,” the well-known youth minister who was arrested for sexually assaulting teenage girls. (See Kukmin Daily articles on August 25, page 29). The organization also urged that church laws be revised to enable punishment of those who commit sex crimes, and that sex education be provided to clergy and church members.

Hong Bo-yeon, co-chair of the KMC Committee on Gender Equality and prayer leader on this day, said, “We confess and repent that we have not helped the victims of repeated sex crimes…We hope that all churches in this land, and our whole society, will become safe from sexual violence.” Demonstration participant Ryu Seong-mi (23, first-year woman graduate theological student at Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary) proclaimed, “Sexual violence within the Korean churches has made them the target of finger-pointing by society… We need to stop treating the situation in a paternalistic manner, and deal effectively with the problem of sexual violence.”

Choi So-yeong, chief of policy planning for the Methodist Women’s Leadership Institute, who took part in planning the demonstration, said, “Sexual violence in the churches is not the problem of just one denomination; it is a pervasive problem throughout the churches.” She noted, “Not just KMC, but seminary students of all denominations, along with women, feel the magnitude of this problem and are participating actively in the movement.”

Article and photo by reporter Gu Jachang (critic@kmib.co.kr), with Marion Kim (marionkkim@icloud.com)

Original Article in Korean:
“교회 내 성폭력 근본 대책 마련하라” 범교계 여성단체들 한목소리: ‘공동행동’ 기감 본부 앞에서 시위

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