The Korean Church and Martyrs

Some Korean people came across Christianity in the 17th century in Peking.


The first recorded baptism was that of Ni-Seaoung-Houn in 1784.


Slowly, the church grew, promoted and led by laypeople.


The first known martyrs were Paul Youn and James Kouen in 1791.


In the next century, over ten thousand men, women and children were martyred.


When the first priest, a Chinese, visited Korea in 1794 he found a community of 4000 Catholics living their faith under Cruel persecution.


It was a very persecuted church rich in martyrs, often very cruelly martyred.


Yet the church grew. It was founded and led by lay people living their baptism call. They valued and wanted priests when they could get them. None the less they remained true to their faith even when this could not be.


What a wonderful example to us all that the call to spread the gospel is to all the baptised not just to priests and religious…