The International Lutheran Church in South Korea
Who is the International Lutheran Church in South Korea and what are its ministries?
The International Lutheran Church
is an English-language Christian ministry that is comprised of people from North America (35-40%), Korea (35-40%), and from other parts of the world.
ILC was founded in the early 1960's as a Lutheran mission to the nearby US military base. While US military personnel are still involved, the congregation is primarily expatriates from all walks of life. It offers the full range of parish ministries, including worship and Bible studies. Its outreach extends support for a home for single mothers and Luther University.How do the International Lutheran Church in Korea and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
South Korean girls dancing
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with the ILC, which is one of three international congregations with which the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and ELCA cooperate (the others are Guam and Frankfurt).
Beyond the ILC, the ELCA relates to Korean ecumenical issues through the National Council of Churches in the US and the National Council of Churches of Korea. The basic goal of the NCCK is to unite the Korean churches in the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the building of God’s new community of justice, love and peace. The issue of the unification of North and South Korea has been the focus of attention for the NCCK. Several consultations have been held with representatives from both sides of the border. Rallies and other public events are held to increase public understanding of the North and South and to encourage the restoration of Korea as a single country. Christians pray for a peaceful reunification of Korea in a society in which the values of both North and South would be reconciled.South Korea: the context in which the Lutheran church in South Korea serves
South Korea gained its independence from Japan on August 15, 1945, and formed the Republic of Korea on July 17, 1948. Suppression of dissent has been a feature of almost every South Korean government since independence. South Korea is home to almost 48.6 million people. Korean is the official language, while English is widely taught in junior high and high school. The religions practiced are: Christianity (26%); Buddhism (26%); and Confucianism (1%).
The US refusal to withdraw forces from South Korea leaves the impression for some that Americans are hard-liners. In 2000, a summit in North Korea resulted in the first installment on reunification which took place in 2002 (when South Korea gave North Korea $25 million dollars to help rebuild rail and road links between the two countries). However, reunification is not expected to occur for many years.
The South Korea economy was so strong in the 1980's and the early 1990's that many people thought that South Korea would be the next Japan of Asia. But the 1997-98 slowdown has modified those predictions. Economic success has slowed the rate of outward migration and even brought some Koreans back home.
For up-to-date information on South Korea, type “South Korea” into an online search engine or visit: