Korean "Bible Week" Aims to Counter Relativism

Church Initiative Seeks to Put Focus on Christ

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SEOUL, South Korea, NOV. 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Growing religious relativism has led the Catholic Church in South Korea to organize a National Bible Week centered on Christ.

The theme of the Nov. 23-30 initiative, organized by the Biblical Commission of the South Korean episcopal conference, is “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

In a message to explain the theme, Bishop John Chrysostom Kwon Hyok-ju of Andong, the commission’s president, invites the faithful to “read, meditate and pray the Bible in the light of Jesus Christ.”

The bishop said, “The first duty of the Catholics, in a situation of increasing pluralism in our day, is to refocus attention on Jesus Christ,” which means to “re-read, meditate, and pray the Bible every day.”

“We chose this theme because these words are an essential point of reference for the faithful, living in the context of religious and cultural relativism of the 21st century. This signifies returning to Jesus Christ, who is the Word and the source of the Church’s life.”

In his note, sent to the Vatican agency Fides, the bishop expressed the local Church’s concern for the fragmentation of the cultural scene in Korea.

“Three phenomena have met: a spreading of animist religions also in hypertechnological contexts; an explosion of new spiritual movements; and tendencies of postmodern cultures,” he said.

“These ideas have penetrated even among Christians, threatening the identity of believers,” the bishop noted. “The impact of pluralism has almost eliminated the line marking the difference between good and evil, true and false, and these tendencies create confusion among the followers of Christ.”

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