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World Youth Day to be hosted in Seoul in 2027

Posted August. 23, 2023 08:21,   

Updated August. 23, 2023 08:21


“World Youth Day is an event where young people around the world gather as one, transcending country, ethnicity, language, and religion. Though it is difficult at this stage to determine at this point, given inter-Korean/international relations, we will work along with the government and other channels to have North Korean youth attend the event,” Catholic Archbishop Chung Soon-taek of Seoul said at a press conference on Tuesday. “The event to be hosted on the Korean Peninsula, where the two Koreas remain divided, will be an opportunity for young people around the world to reflect on division and conflict and to seek reconciliation and peace," he added.

Founded by Pope John Paul II in 1984, World Youth Day is held every two to four years in different continents. The pope personally attends the event and presides over the opening and dispatching masses. Pope Francis previously visited Korea in 2014.

Archbishop Chung expressed great anticipation for the pope's visit to North Korea in the wake of the event. “Pope Francis has always expressed great interest in Korea’s division and hopes to visit North Korea," he said. "We look forward to his support in taking a big step toward peace and reconciliation."

The 2027 event is expected to attract up to 800,000 people from home and abroad. This year’s event, held in Lisbon, Portugal from Aug. 1 to 6 (local time), was attended by 1.5 million.

“We plan to prepare accommodations for hundreds of thousands of domestic and foreign participants at cathedrals, schools, and educational facilities based on homestay families. We will make thorough preparations for the event based on previous experience hosting large-scale events,” said Archbishop Chung. "The lead of the organizing committee shall be appointed among the bishops within the church. Specific dates of the event will be determined in consultation with the Vatican."

Chin-Ku Lee sys1201@donga.com