Daughter of the King

Huge crowds greet pope at beatification of Korean martyrs

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people turned out Saturday for one of the highlights of Pope Francis’ trip to South Korea: The beatification of 124 Koreans killed for their faith over two centuries ago.

The streets leading up to Seoul’s iconic Gwanghwamun Gate were packed with Koreans honoring the ordinary lay Catholics who founded the church here in the 18th century. Korea’s church is unique in that it was founded not by missionaries or priests who brought the faith to the peninsula and converted people — as occurred in most of the world — but by members of Korea’s own noble classes who learned of Christianity by reading books about it. (1,2,3)

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