SEOUL, June 22 (Korea Bizwire) — A Korean Methodist pastor who blessed sexual minorities by sprinkling flower petals over them at a Queer Culture Festival has been put on trial in a church court for ‘advocating homosexuality.’
Even within the protestant church communities which have a strong conservative theological background, it’s unusual for a pastor to be indicted to a church court for advocating homosexuality.
In a situation where Korea’s religious communities are now debating the pros and cons of anti-discrimination legislation, the results of this trial are likely to have a strong ripple effect.
According to the Gyeonggi Branch of the Korean Methodist Church on Friday, the branch’s Screening Committee decided to indict Rev. Lee Dong-hwan, a pastor at the Younggwang Cheil Church in Suwon, to the Korean Methodist Church’s Judicial Committee for having presided over a blessing ceremony for sexual minorities at the Queer Culture Festival held in Incheon on Aug. 31, 2019.
Lee, together with another pastor named Lim and priest named Kim, sprinkled flower petals on a group of LGBT Christians and those who participated in the blessing ceremony.
The Korean Methodist Church’s canon law prohibits pastors from violating drug laws, gambling and supporting homosexuality. Pastors who violate the canon law are subject to suspension, dismissal or excommunication.
Other members of the Korean Methodist Church raised objections against Lee’s actions during the Queer Culture Festival and the Gyeonggi Branch’s Screening Committee decided to put him on trial after going through a series of investigation processes.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)