Leaders of the Korean immigrant church community gathered on Wednesday at a hotel in Los Angeles for a discussion on how the community should respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriages. Talks of holding hands with the greater community and other ethnic groups, and steps to prevent churches from facing litigation were brought up.
The gathering was brought together by Jung Myung Song, the CEO of Gospel Broadcasting Company, one of the largest Korean Christian radio stations in Los Angeles.
“We are here today to discuss how the church must respond to the legalization of same-sex marriage,” Song said. “And the Korean church community needs some specific help to deal with any issues that may arise from this ruling.”
“A nation that was once founded on Puritan principles is becoming more secularized and is deterioriating morally,” said Reverend Hee Min Park, former senior pastor of Young Nak Presbyterian Church (YNPC).
“The Korean church community must work together and engage with the greater community to defend Christian values,” Park added.
“America will experience another revival if we use this opportunity to become more united than ever, and to stay awake and pray,” said Reverend Yu Chul Chin, the senior pastor of Los Angeles Full Gospel Church.
Reverend Kyung Jin Kim, the current senior pastor of YNPC, shared an example of a Korean church in Canada--in which gay marriage was legalized earlier than the U.S.--that faced litigation, and emphasized the need for legal preparation.
Randy Ju, the Korean outreach coordinator of the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal group that focuses on protecting religious freedom, emphasized the need for churches to adjust their policies to ensure legal protection.
Churches are inevitably influenced by the bylaws of their denominations, which would take at least a year to amend. Churches can, however, include church membership policies and policies regarding the use of their facilities to ensure legal protection in those areas. Updated church bylaws should immediately be reported to the state government to prevent legal issues in the future.
PJI will be hosting a seminar at L.A. Full Gospel Church on July 13 from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M., featuring Brad Dacus, the president of PJI, explaining steps churches can take to ensure legal protection from potential lawsuits.