The Role of Religion & Civil Society

The March 1 1919 Movement for Independence and Democracy not only involved the popular will, but also was aided by interfaith cooperation. Protestant Christianity played an integral role in not only the March 1, 1919 demonstration, but also in the movement to inform international public opinion about the plight of Korea. Frank Schofield, a Presbyterian Missionary from Canada provided great asssistance to the Movement. In the United States, Reverend Floyd Tomkins worked with 서재필 (Philip Jaisohn) to establish the League of Friends of Korea - a Civil Society Organization with numerous chapters throughout the U.S. that supported the Movement. Within Korea, both Buddhism and the Cheondogyo religion also played important roles. The Declaration of Independence of March 1, 1919 was drafted by 최남선 (Choe Nam Seon) and 한용운 (Han Young-Un) also known as 만해 (Manhae) - a Korean Buddhist. The Cheondogyo religion offered its printing press and funded the printing of the Declarations.

More informatoion on the role that Religion and Civil Society played in Korea's Movement for Democracy and Self-Determination will be posted in the coming months.

Below, a 45 minute video on Buddhist Monk and Independence Activist Baek Cho Wol (백초월) and the incredible story of the secret Korean flag that was was found in 2009 at Jingwansa (진관사 ) Temple in Seoul.


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