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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 13 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 24
Christians clash with Seoul Pride Parade
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Christians clash with Seoul Pride Parade

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Right-wing Christian demonstrators attempted to disrupt June 7 Pride celebrations in Seoul, South Korea.

"To put it simply, today was a kind of battle between extremist Christians and LGBT attendees of said pride," a Korean PhD student wrote to the British Gay Star News in an email account of the clashes.

The Pride Parade started, but was stopped multiple times by Christian protestors throwing themselves onto the street, blocking the march.

The anti-Gay protestors reportedly sang South Korea's national anthem and chanted that Gays had no place in the country. According to the email sent to Gay Star News, several demonstrators were arrested by police.

While most Koreans follow a synthesis of Buddhist and indigenous religious traditions, about 29 percent are Christians.

Many Korean Christians have been outspoken human rights advocates, but some have been attracted to right-wing politics. In particular, the late Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church has a history of supporting right-wing political candidates.

Some Protestant groups have also been accused of vandalizing Buddhist temples.

The 2014 Seoul Pride was particularly controversial because it was scheduled to take place soon after the April 16 ferry disaster in which hundreds of schoolchildren drowned. Other public events were cancelled out of respect for the casualties, but Pride organizers said they would hold the event anyway - even after local officials withdrew permission for the parade.

Organizers charged that Christian groups wanted to capitalize on the ferry disaster to have Pride cancelled.

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