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Approval needed for rallies at Myongdong Cathedral

Posted December. 26, 2000 20:43,   


In the future, rallies or protests held at Seoul's Myongdong Cathedral will be subject to approval from the cathedral's administration.

Myongdong Cathedral sent a facility protection request to the Seoul Chungbu Police Station under the name of the Rev. Kim Sung-Man, stating, "Please do not approve any request for rallies unless consent has been provided by the cathedral."

The request was accepted by the police, meaning officers will be permanently assigned in front of Myongdong Cathedral.

A Myongdong Cathedral official said, "The entry of groups trying to hold a rally without obtaining consent will be prohibited, and even if consent has been given, the carrying of equipment to set up large tents and the use of stage equipment and loudspeakers will only be allowed outside of the guard house."

The Rev. Baek Nam-Yong, 55, said, "Taking into account the opinions within the cathedral, a decision was made that rallies which divide the unity within the cathedral will not be allowed."

He added, "There was justification during the time of the pro-democracy movement to provide shelter for the weak but now the rallies by various groups have a different character."

The number of rallies at Myongdong Cathedral last year totaled 214. Tent protests and long-term protests numbered 22.