The Korea Herald


Christian, civic groups protest government human rights plan

By Jo He-rim

Published : Aug. 8, 2018 - 16:30

    • Link copied

The government’s passage of a human rights action plan, which recommends introducing laws prohibiting discrimination, has been hit by severe opposition from religious groups.

On Tuesday, the government passed the National Plan of Action for Human Rights in a Cabinet meeting, to serve as human rights guidelines in effect from 2018 to 2022.

The action plan, released by the Justice Ministry, carries 272 policy instructions in eight categories of human rights goals -- such as protecting the rights of life and body and promoting a fair society where everyone is given to wield the same rights. The policy instructions cover various social rights issues, from gender discrimination to work hours and supporting migrant and North Korean defectors and their families. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

Some religious and civic groups, however, have protested the action plan, claiming it supports homosexuality.

“NAP is an example of the government’s biased policy directions, carrying some toxic policy recommendations. By saying it seeks to protect the rights of the ‘minorities,’ it is in turn discrimination against most of the people of this country,” the Korean Association of Church Communication said in a statement after the NAP passed Tuesday.

“By allowing ‘gender equality’ and ‘sexual politics’ and fulfilling the sexual desires of humans, it is evident that the government wants to incite sexual sins and moral corruption.”

The association went on to claim the measures will “take down South Korea’s ethical standards,” and the government’s actions will “destroy the norms for later generations.”

In an effort to combat discrimination, the action plan seeks to prohibit use of language that “wrongly” states and defines terms in relations to sex, gender, race and culture.

For example, the NAP calls for the Korea Communications Standards Commission to reinforce its screening measures for discriminatory remarks, and to put new entries related to sexual orientations in the state-managed dictionary, such as “transgender.”

Conservative Christian groups, including the Christian Council of Korea and the Council of Presbyterian Churches in Korea, released a joint statement Tuesday, saying the government’s decision is the same as if it were declaring to root out “healthy sexual ethics.”

“The government’s move obviously shows its intentions to legalize homosexuality and same-sex marriage in the future,” the statement read. “Not only is it against the Constitution, but it is also directly contradicts God’s creation order.”

Although same-sex marriage is not permitted in Korea, homosexuality itself is not a crime.

A day before the passage of the NAP, Christian and civic groups took to the streets in 13 regions across the nation to call for its withdrawal, with a number of pastors shaving their heads outside the presidential office in protest.

By Jo He-rim (