How To Pray for your Brothers and Sisters in Korea

This is the fifth and final article in a series penned by Joel Kim, President of Westminster Seminary. In each entry he is reflecting on the Olympics from a Korean-American perspective. I want to thank Tim Challies for the opportunity to use this platform to share my thoughts. I’ve enjoyed my time and I hope that the posts were helpful and informative. As a final post, I wanted to share with you my prayers for the churches of South Korea. [How can …

Which Country Sends the [Second] Most Missionaries?

My friends and I recently visited Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery in Seoul. As the name indicates, this is where 145 foreign missionaries to Korea and their family members are now buried and remembered. Among them are the families of Henry G. Appenzeller, Horace G. Underwood, and William D. Reynolds.  Reynolds was a professor at Pyongyang Theological Seminary, but he is most often remembered for his contribution toward producing the first complete translation of the Bible in Korean which was published in 1910. This was not without great cost. Soon after their arrival in 1892, the Reynolds’ gave birth to their first son, William Davis. Their joy was soon followed by grief as little William died the same year he was born, now buried alongside many other children of missionaries who died while their parents served in Korea. The graves of these children at Yanghwajin were sober reminders of the sacrifices many missionaries (and their families) have made in their desire to bring the Gospel to Korea.

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Three Things To Know about Korean Christianity

Where do the Olympic athletes representing other countries worship in South Korea? Christian leaders in South Korea have called upon churches to make the Winter Olympics a “Missions Olympics,” encouraging congregations and pastors to be active in evangelizing to the thousands of athletes and officials visiting South Korea. For instance, the many fans of skating–whether of the figure, short-track, or speed skating variety–should be familiar with Gangneung Ice Arena where these events are held. However, many might not be aware that the city of Gangneung is about thirty minutes from PyeongChang or that the 140 or so churches in the city have been a part of a national Christian organization formed in 2012 to prepare for the Olympics. The purpose of the “Korean Christian Services” (rough translation) is to serve and evangelize to the visitors from around the globe.

What City Was Once “The Jerusalem of the East?”

“The Pyongyang Olympics” is how some are referring to the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. This can be a humorous play on words, drawing our attention to the similarity of the two names. But for most, the phrase sums up the attention that North Korea has received at the Olympics. Like the recent Wall Street Journal editorial, the focus on the North Korean team, cheerleaders, and the attendance of the sister of the North Korean leader, all divert attention from South Korea, the sufferings of the North Korean people, and the atrocities committed by the government of North Korea. “Pyongyang” as the capital of this oppressive regime symbolizes dictatorship, human-rights violations, and suffering.

This was not always the case. It might be difficult to imagine a time when the city and the name “Pyongyang” meant something entirely different. Only a century ago and before Korea was divided into two, Pyongyang was considered “the Jerusalem of the East,” a model of success for missions and the center of a growing Christianity in Korea.

Three Things to Look For in the 2018 Winter Olympics

As we come to Opening Ceremonies of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, I am sharing what will be the first of several articles by Joel Kim, President of Westminster Seminary California. Kim is a Korean-American who was born in South Korea before immigrating to America, and has a special interest in Korean Christianity, both its history and its current form. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, he will be providing some insights into the country that is hosting …