The United Church of Canada has many rich and long-standing partnerships with Christian denominations in South Korea. We are blessed by many Korean and Korean-Canadian ministers, lay leaders, and congregations. The ties between Korea and Canada are strong, particularly in the Presbyterian and Methodist traditions of which the United Church is also a part.
One aspect of this relationship has been shared work on the struggle against Christian transphobia and homophobia in our churches and countries. Numerous regional, national and local solidarity visits and resource people over the years have helped our respective churches strive to challenge a long history of hate directed at LGBTQIA+ people and movements.
In August 2019, Rev Lee Dong-hwan of the Korean Methodist Church accepted an invitation to bless the crowd at the Incheon Queer Festival. As a result of this support, in October of 2020 he was stripped of his ability to practice as a minister in the Korean Methodist Church for two years. Read the full background here.
In response to this disciplinary action from the Korean Methodist Church, ministers and lay members of the Korean Ministries Network of the United Church of Canada issued this bilingual solidarity letter and sent it to Rev. Lee, as well as a copy to the Presiding Bishop of the Korean Methodist Church and the Christian press in Korea. Thank you to the members of the Network for offering this witness and example in our Regional Council and the wider church.
Rev Lee sent a moving video response to Grosvenor Park United Church in Saskatoon SK, in response to their letter, and to other solidarity and care shown to him.
If your ministry wants to send a solidarity letter to Rev Lee, please contact the Equity and Diversity Committee through staff support Julie Graham, firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can keep personal contact information confidential.