We affirm that all human beings are made in the image of God regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. United Church partner the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) recently began examining issues around sexual orientation and diversity, with a particular focus on the human rights of LGBT people. A sobering review of LGBT rights in South Korea is available from Affirm United/S’affirmer ensemble.
The NCCK is boldly attempting to foster understanding, tolerance, and full inclusion of LGBT brothers and sisters. However, the NCCK has reported strong, vitriolic, and hate-filled reactions from other Korean Christian groups. NCCK staff and committee members have been harassed and threatened, and public events have been disrupted by protests.
Moderator Jordan Cantwell has sent a message of love and solidarity to the NCCK. On behalf of the United Church, she has offered continued prayer and partnership. Her full letter is available under Downloads, below.
The NCCK is determined to persevere. In response to Moderator’s letter of support, the Rev. Shin Seung Min (NCCK staff) wrote:
We deeply appreciate you for sending an encouraging message of solidarity concerning the LGBT event organized by the NCCK. [For] more than a week, NCCK colleagues have been on the receiving end of hate speech, threats, and even curses. We are very disappointed with all those negative reactions from our fellow Christians….
We treasure the long and deep partnership with the United Church and ask you to keep us in your prayers as we are going through very difficult time with many social challenges, such as the issue of reunification, LGBT, and economic injustice.
Please keep the NCCK in your prayers. You may wish to offer your own message of solidarity through their Facebook page.