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KUC Holds Religious Freedom Seminar
August 01, 2019

The 2019 Religious Freedom Seminar of the Korean Union Conference (KUC) was held on May 25, 2019, at the main hall of the SDA Language Institutes in Seoul, Korea. The seminar was attended by 250 young people yearning for religious freedom. They started with a worship session, followed by a report session.


Lee JiChoon, KUC Public Affairs & Religious Liberty (PARL) department director, said in his opening remarks, "We should look back at faithful believers in history who worked to protect the freedom given to them from God. That’s why we gather here to work together to consider how we can establish and defend our freedom."

The seminar continued with a worship session, where KUC president, Hwang ChunKwang, preached about “Sabbath and Freedom,” connecting it with the verse in Deuteronomy 5:15. "Freedom of religion is the most fundamental thing," he said. “My father, who at first refused to allow me to go to church as a child, changed his mind and allowed me to attend the church. Later, he also became an Adventist. Our God is the God of liberty. The Ten Commandments show that not only I, but also my family, my neighbors, and even my livestock have been given freedom through rest, and that the land has also been given rest as a Sabbatical year.”


Han JiMan, who won a lawsuit against a medical school regarding Sabbath accommodations, said at the report session, “I have done nothing, and God has done it all.” Shin MyungChul, the lawyer who led the trial, testified to God’s providence. He emphasized that he could not have won the case without God's intention to intervene. KUC PARL director Lee shared cases of the Korean state exam held on the Sabbath in recent years and the efforts of Korean Adventist churches to address them.

Kim SunHwan, PARL director of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division, talked about the importance of religious freedom. “The freedom of religion is specified in Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. The population of 5.3 billion people, or 80 percent of the world's population, is limited in their ability to exercise religious rights, and three-quarters of those who are persecuted are Christians,” he explained, citing an announcement by Open Doors, a community of Christians who support persecuted believers.

A short play was performed by the ACT (Adventist Collegians with Tidings) churches from the East and West Central Korean Conferences at the end of the seminar. It showed the different religious freedom issues that young people experience in their daily lives, such as opposition from non-believing parents, disrupted campus evangelical activities by those who classify the Adventist Church as heresy, and being outcast by friends for their religion.