Sunday, January 13, 2013

Young Nak Presbyterian Church 
Seoul, Korea
"To Church, To Church"

"Yes, two churches in one day. First Jennifer B. and I took the subway to the Presbyterian church.   The European type church held about 1500 worshipers.  It featured stained glass windows, spiral staircases to the balcony, and a choir of 100. 

"We were late for the 10 am English service; we waited at the "foreigner's door" during the first prayer. Then the usher seated us in a special roped off section for "foreigners". We listed to the translation on earphones and put our collection in a velvet bag. In other buildings the total congregation of 10,000 watched the service on TV or attended Bible Classes.

"After the Presbyterian service a man we met on the street led us to the Catholic church.  The 12 o'clock service that we thought would be in English was in Korean.  The church and singing was magestic and beautiful.  We took communion in the aisle and circled the pews to place our offering in an urn type basket on the floor.  The heaters under the pews warmed our feet." (See Reference.)

"Young Nak (YN) Presbyterian Church was founded on December 2, 1945 by 1992 Templeton Prize recipient, Kyung-Chik Han. Inaugurated by twenty-seven refugees from Soviet occupied Korea, Young Nak steadily increased in membership as more refugees sought religious freedom below the 38th parallel.[1] On March 24, 1949, ground was broken for a new facility to replace the building and tent that had become too small for the growing congregation.[2] By the time the new church building was completed in May 1950, membership had increased to over 4,000.[3] By 1992, when Rev. Han was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, membership had grown to 60,000 (making it, at that time, the largest Presbyterian congregation in the world), excluding 500 sister churches planted by members of the original congregation.[4] 

"In 1998, under the auspices of Rev. Han, who at the time was a Pastor Emeritus, Young Nak gained an English language ministry, International Worship in English, which was founded by an American missionary to Korea, Bill Majors. For his efforts, Majors was made an Honorary Citizen of Seoul in 2005.[5] Presently the senior pastor of YN is Rev. Chul Shin Lee (1997-present)." (See Link 1.)

Photo: Origin unknown.
Link 1:
Link 2: (See this link for a photo essay.)
Reference: From the "Seoul Star" a newsletter written by Suzanne Wilson for family and friends during her six week trip to Seoul, Korea in January and February 1996. Suzanne was visiting her daughter who was teaching English.  Jennifer B. was her daughter's roommate and fellow ESL teacher. 


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen

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