SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — A South Korean pastor who was put on church trial for having blessed sexual minorities at a queer festival has been suspended from his position.
With the Protestant church community divided over the enactment of the ‘Comprehensive Discrimination Prevention Law,’ this sentence is bringing the sexual minority issue back to the spotlight again.
The judicial committee of the Korea Methodist Church’s Gyeonggi Province branch ruled on Oct. 15 that Rev. Lee Dong-hwan violated church doctrine, and suspended him from work.
As for the reasons for such a decision, the judicial committee said that his participation in the queer festival held in Incheon in August last year and his blessing for sexual minorities violated church doctrine.
After the trial, however, Lee said that he would appeal the decision, saying that such a decision was anachronistic.
“I’d like to show that even within the Protestant church community, some pastors and Christians have positive views about sexual minorities and treat them equally as others. We are the same people under the love of the Lord,” Lee said.
The nation’s Protestant Christians have mixed views about Lee.
According to a survey conducted by the Christian Institute for the Study of Justice and Development in July, more than a half of the respondents showed negative opinions about him, saying that he should be excommunicated.
However, about 30 percent of the respondents said that the blessing was at the pastor’s sole discretion and he shouldn’t be punished no matter to whom he blessed.
With respect to the enactment of the Discrimination Prevention Law, 42.1 percent of Protestant Christians were in favor, while 38.2 percent showed opposition.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)