Standing up to his own government is nothing new for Moon Kyu-hyun. The 70-year-old Jesuit priest from South Korea made international news back in 1989, when he crossed the border into North Korea illegally. Moon and other Catholic leaders are pressuring the South Korean government to rethink the country’s dependence on nuclear power. That is no small order, as this is a country that relies on more than two dozen nuclear power plants for about a third of its electricity.“Getting rid of nuclear power is the only way to survive, to save ourselves, and save the world,” Moon says during a recent anti-nuclear demonstration in downtown Seoul, where Catholic priests and nuns announced an effort to collect a million signatures in support of their campaign. One event that helped push Korean Catholics to get involved in the anti-nuclear movement was the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.The Rev. Cho Hyun-chul says the event resonated with much of the Korean public, whether they are Catholics or not. Cho teaches theology at Sogang University in Seoul. “I think because we are in the same destiny. If [South Korea had an accident] just like Fukushima, then there is no room for us to live here. There is no more safe land,” Cho says.
PRI 11th May 2017 read more »