Yeouido Full Gospel Church Pastor Young-Hoon Lee “Unauthorized organization operated under the name of Christianity, must be supervised”

“There are many unauthorized organizations that run in the name of Christianity. They need to be supervised.”

On the 2nd, Lee Young-hoon (67), senior pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, held a press conference in Gwanghwamun, Seoul. Regarding the Intercop Mission and IM Mission, which have become the main channels of the COVID-19 outbreak, Pastor Lee did not forget the tingling point.

Senior Pastor Young-Hoon Lee of Yoido Full Gospel Church pointed out that “the authorities need to supervise unauthorized organizations operating under the name of Christianity.” [사진 여의도순복음교회]

Corona mass infection occurred at Intercorp Mission and IM Mission. For this reason, the voice of social criticism against Korean Protestants is high.

“IM Mission is doing it in the name of Christianity, but the international school under the mission is more like a kind of academy. I think I should have gone from the beginning to the concept of an academy rather than a church institution. In fact, the international school under the IM Mission is an unauthorized institution. For this reason, I was not supervised by anywhere. I was alienated from the director.”

The more unauthorized organizations are, the higher the risk of becoming a corona blind spot. Isn’t the need for management supervised more urgent?

“That’s right. The place in need of supervision the most is what happened without supervision. In the future, even unauthorized schools should be supervised by government authorities. Even today, many unlicensed schools are emerging. If there is no oversight for these people, the outbreak of group infection might continue. However, it would be nice to see unlicensed schools and churches separately. IM Mission is not affiliated with the denomination.”
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The building of IEM International School belonging to IM Mission in Daejeon was closed due to a mass outbreak of corona 10 confirmed. [중앙포토]

The building of IEM International School belonging to IM Mission in Daejeon was closed due to a mass outbreak of corona 10 confirmed. [중앙포토]

Prior to the M Mission, the Intercorp Mission also had a coronavirus outbreak. Problems arise from these missions violating quarantine guidelines and conducting large-scale meetings. Isn’t it necessary to take measures at the Protestant level?=

“IM Mission, which has been a problem this time, is a place with a little question (question mark). It is a little different from the Orthodox Church. I hope you can tell them apart. There is a bit of awkwardness in the passage where Pastor Michael Jo, who runs IM Mission, was ordained. I think it should be verified correctly this time. The same goes for the Intercorp Mission. In fact, Intercorp was being tested. In the meantime, the outbreak of mass infection broke out. I think the Intercorp Mission should be re-verified. A Korean missionary who was killed last time in Afghanistan was also connected to Intercorp.”

Different churches have different positions in responding to the corona crisis. There are many voices about the government’s quarantine guidelines. Some churches say they will actively cooperate, and some are strongly opposed by saying that they are “repression of Christianity.”

“Because Christianity was centered on individual churches, there was no unified voice. In the coronavirus phase, this caused the church’s credibility to decline. Even if a problem breaks out in only one or two churches, the whole Christianity should be blamed. Now, all the churches belonging to the Korean Congregation (Korean Federation of Churches) must go together with one voice. Some protested that the quarantine guidelines “invade freedom of faith”. At that time, there were 20 churches with 100 people and 20 churches with 1,000 people, and the number of participants in the service was uniformly limited. That was absurd. It has now become rational. It changed to a few percent of the total. It is important from now on.”
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The building of IEM International School in Daejeon IM Mission was closed due to the outbreak of a coronavirus outbreak. [중앙포토]

The building of IEM International School in Daejeon IM Mission was closed due to the outbreak of a coronavirus outbreak. [중앙포토]

Why is it important from now on?

“Korean Christianity must follow the quarantine guidelines well. This is because societal trust in the lost church can be restored.”

Yeouido Full Gospel Church has been building Pyongyang Heart Hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea since 2007. This project was promoted when Elder Pastor Cho Yong-gi was in charge. The construction of the Pyongyang Heart Hospital has been under construction at 70%, but construction has been suspended for 12 years due to inter-Korean relations and sanctions against North Korea.

How will the construction of Pyongyang Heart Hospital work in the future?

“70% of the construction work is in progress. It can be completed in about 6 months with additional construction. The problem is sanctions against North Korea. Only when that is released can the construction of the Pyongyang Heart Hospital resume.”

In order to do that, shouldn’t international sanctions against North Korea be lifted?

“Recently, I received formal documents from the United Nations and the US State Department. Building hospitals in North Korea is subject to sanctions. So I submitted a list of all the materials that would go into the North Korean hospital. We are going to proceed on a humanitarian level.”

Pastor Young-Hoon Lee said, “At the humanitarian level, we are pushing for the construction of a heart hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea again.” [사진 여의도순복음교회]

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If it is humanitarian, is there a possibility to resume construction?

“I believe that even if there are sanctions against North Korea, the humanitarian dimension may be acceptable. The Eugene Bell Foundation, an international aid organization, continues to supply tuberculosis drugs to North Korea on a humanitarian level. He also built a treatment center in North Korea and entered North Korea every six months. This is because tuberculosis drugs need to be kept for 2 years and 6 months to become resistant. I can’t stop. It is said that entry into North Korea is now blocked because of corona. Pyongyang Heart Hospital is also trying to promote humanitarianism toward North Korea.”

Why is it important to build a heart hospital in North Korea?

“I think the only way to unify the North and the South is’gospel unification’. I believe that there is only the gospel of Jesus Christ that can overcome the Juche idea of ​​North Korea, which has lived in a completely different system for 75 years. In the early days of Christianity, foreign missionaries set up hospitals and schools and preached the gospel to transform people. I believe that the Gospel will be spread through hospitals in North Korea.”

Religious reporter Baek Sung-ho [email protected]

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