Anglican Church of Korea

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Founded in 1889 there are at present over 100 parish and mission churches with roughly 50,000 members in the Anglican Church of Korea.

Contents

History

Birth of the Anglican Church of Korea

The birth of the Anglican Church of Korea can be traced back to the 1st of November 1889 when Bishop Charles John Corfe was ordained at Westminster Abbey and inaugurated as the first diocesan bishop of Chosun (Korea). With his colleagues who had been invited to join the mission, he arrived in Incheon Port on the 29th September 1890. He initiated his work in the Seoul area, and Gyeonggi and Chungcheong provinces as planned. To benefit the Anglican Church he first opened a number of educational institutions, medical facilities and social work centers across the country, such as the Shinmyoung (Faith and Enlightenment) schools and the hospitals in the vicinities of Incheon, Yeoju and Jincheon as well as the orphanages in Suwon and Anjung. The Anglican missionaries also sought possible ways for the church to be indigenous within the Korean culture. As a result of such an effort, there are several Anglican Church buildings which were constructed in the traditional Korean architecture and which survive today such as those on Ganghwa Island. In addition, it was noteworthy for the early missionaries to make great pioneering contributions to Korean studies.

Early missionary work

Beginning in 1923 mission work was actively carried out in the northern part of the peninsula such as Pyongan and Hwanghae Provinces. To train the local clergy St. Michael's Theological Institute, the former institution of the present Sungkonghoe (Anglican) University, was established in 1923, followed by the Society of the Holy Cross (convent) in 1925. Also, the cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin and St. Nicholas in downtown Seoul was initially constructed in 1924 and is now well known for its unique Romanesque architecture as it is the only one in this fashion in the orient, together with its mosaic murals.


Japanese Colonial Rule

Due to considerable difficulties with the language barrier, personal health problems, and other incidents, the mission work had little success throughout the later years, especially during the 36-year period of the Japanese colonial rule. This colonial rule caused significant obstacles to Church development in Korea, primarily because those missionaries appeared to have an indifferent attitude to the Korean independence movement at that time.

First native Bishop

Despite such an unfavorable situation as illustrated, the first native Korean bishop was ordained in 1965 after 20 years had lapsed since the liberation form the Japanese rule. Thus the original Korean mission diocese was formed into the two dioceses of Seoul and Taejon, followed by the separate additional forming of the Diocese of Pusan in 1974.


Recent Expansion

Since the 1970s the Anglican Church has increasingly expanded through opening a number of new churches across country. St Peter's School was founded in 1975 to provide retarded children with effective special education as needed. St. Michael's Theological Seminary was also upgraded to be accredited by the government in 1982 and 10 years later it was again formally upgraded and expanded as a university to satisfies the peoples' great needs in the coming new era.

The three dioceses continued steady growth in numbers of churches and social evangelization under the auspices of the second and third generations of Korean bishops. The Church has thus been active in constructing new church buildings, along with its continued efforts in opening the new additional churches since the mid-1980s. In this context the Board of Mission and Education has played a timely role in offering education and training programs.

On occasion of its centennial anniversary on the 29th September 1990, the Anglican Church of Korea reaffirmed its intent under the theme. "Jesus Christ, Life of the Nation", to continue proclaiming the message of life to the people and expediting the peaceful reunification of Korea as desired.

The Provincial Constitution of the Anglican Church of Korea was declared on the 29th of September 1992 and the first Korean primate was inaugurated on the 16th April 1993. Thus, the Church finally has become an independent national church with its commitment to sharing renewed life with the people and rededication to the Lord throughout the remaining years of the century, striving for the goal in the decade of Evangelization and fulfilling the new heaven and the new earth.

External links

Official church website, in English and Korean (http://www.skh.or.kr)

http://viamedia.new21.orgde:Anglikanische Kirche von Korea

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