The “2020 World Christian Journalist Forum” was held at the International Conference Hall on the 20th floor of the Korea Press Center on the 6th, attended by pastors and journalists from the religious ministry from home and abroad. The forum was joined by pastors and journalists with Pastor Ock Soo Park as presenters and to explore the direction of the new role of churches and pastors in the changed daily lives of the New Normal era.
For this occasion, the director of Rede Brazil, Juan Luis, the president of Epic Bible College in the US, Ronald Harden, gave congratulary messages to Pastor Park.
Roel Leon, general manager of the international Christian broadcasting network, Enlace, delivers a congratulary message for Pastor Park as well.
Pastor Ock Soo Park delivered a keynote speech. He established the Good News Mission, International Youth Fellowship, and the Gracias Choir. This year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he held Bible Seminars in May and October to deliver the gospel of forgiveness of sin to many people around the world through broadcasting on 276 and 655 broadcasting stations overseas, respectively, and delivered comfort and peace to their hearts. Pastor Park said, “It is God’s word that can give true comfort to their hearts when there are anxiety and darkness all over the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Christianity will become one and exchange with each other so that Korean churches can become more mature and the church congregation can live brighter lives.”
He presented, “Why do many people believe in Jesus? It is to receive forgiveness of sin. The Bible says that Jesus came for our sins, he was crucified on the cross and died, and that’s how He washed all of our sins. Korean Christians go to church and believe in Jesus, but they are not able to teach how to receive forgiveness of sin by the blood of Jesus. Only when I am free from sin can I live a bright life, when I am free from sin can I be harmonious, and when I am free from sin, I can serve God. If you believe in God, you will be holy, blessed before God, and receive His grace. When we tell this story, Christianity from all over the world is with us and Korean churches can live a bright and mature life.”
Following the keynote speech, there was a question-and-answer session that opened the stage for dialogue between Christian journalists at home and abroad and Pastor Ock Soo Park. Overseas journalists also questioned Pastor Park through the video.
[Yan Volkov, Executive Director of TBN Russia]
“You work for evangelization around the world. Please tell us how Russian churches should act as they face a difficult situation caused by coronavirus.”
“Russians are more religious than any other country. The most important thing that can give the most peace and love in the world is the power to overcome evil. The love of Jesus is a great love that has even given up His own life, and if Russian Christians work together after accepting that love and receive forgiveness of sin, then not only Russia, but all countries will become happy.”
[Winston Agaba David, Managing Director of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC)]
“These days, not only churches but also religious groups are suffering from this difficult situation. In Africa, many religious groups are struggling financially. Some ministers even caused social controversy. My question is, “what should the life of the pastors be like?” There was nothing impossible in Pastor Park’s amazing life, experiences, and testimony. I know that the way that not only pastors but people from all over the world should go is to have a humble heart and lower ourselves and leave everything to Jesus. And Pastor Park, I believe that we can learn a lot from you. And I also believe that through you, we will be physically and mentally strong and face the world. It is because God told us to go and conquer the world. I think that through your experience, we can resemble your heart from what we can do.”
“In 2018, we preached the gospel to more than 100,000 people at the New Year’s Eve worship service at Mandela Stadium in Uganda. I am interacting with many pastors, and I believe that if we erase our thoughts and unite together by knowing the will of God, then we will be able to gain faith and be blessed. I was invited to their New Year’s Eve worship service this year as well, but I’m not sure if I could go because of coronavirus. Please help us and continue to broadcast. We will continue to interact and live a bright, blessed life if we become free from sin through the love of Jesus.”
There were also questions from journalists who attended the scene.
“In the post-Corona era, we support you in the gospel preaching through online media by protecting the gospel. During the Bible Seminar in October, my oldest sister was born again after listening to the broadcast on YouTube. My oldest sister has been attending church for more than 10 years, but she said “No one ever taught this to me before and I’ve never heard such words”. I think that’s a big problem with the current churches. What do you think is the solution?”
“The key that the Bible talks about is Jesus. The core of Jesus is the cross. According to the prophecy of Isaiah, Jesus was crucified on the cross, and He said “It is finished” at last when He died on the cross. It means that Jesus received all the punishment for our sins. He did it for the sins of the journalists here as well. We say we are righteous berceuse Jesus died for our sins, but some churches say they are still sinners. Saying that you are a sinner is ignoring the cross. People who believe that their sins are washed have gratitude in their hearts and live a bright life. True spiritual life is to believe in the word of Jesus, and those who believe in it, their hearts become brighter, happier, and renewed and we can see that God is together with them. I think the solution is for anyone to believe and accept Jesus.
“The Korean churches are becoming politicized. In this process, people are experiencing many divisions and it is causing many problems in Korean society. What do you think is the cure for this?”
“I started IYF (International Youth Fellowship) in 2001. There was a student who was addicted to drugs in LA, and his mom repeatedly asked me for help, so I brought him to Korea. There is a woman caught in adultery in the Bible. In Moses’ law, a woman caught in adultery is stoned to death. Before people started to stone her, they took her to Jesus. Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Until then, they thought only the woman caught in adultery was a sinner, but through those words, they realized they were sinners as well. They all put down the stone and left. Jesus said, “Hath no man condemned thee?” And the woman answered, “No man, Lord.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee, go, and sin no more.” Her heart was in fear, but now it was filled with thankfulness. Jesus did not just send that woman away but filled her heart with gratitude. When a person’s heart is filled with gratitude, no other heart can ever come in. I made the student from America who was a drug-addict happy. 6 months later, he returned to LA, and he didn’t take any drugs afterward. The following year, 28 of his friends came to Korea during summer vacation. Then the year after that, 58 of them came, in 2001, 500 of them came, and that’s how IYF was launched. Last year, 826 pastors came to see the camp. As we exchange and converse with one another, people change a lot. When the true heart of Jesus comes in, you cannot have the same heart as before. Once you taste and experience the love of Jesus, love arises from your heart and you start to live for others in difficulty. Once you accept such love of Jesus in your heart, you will say, “I was truly evil. I was filthy. Now it’s so good.” Anyone can change. Even if you don’t tell the children, “Don’t steal, don’t do drugs,” there is nothing happier than planting happiness in children’s hearts and seeing people change their minds.”
At that forum, 55 media outlets including Yonhap News, News, Kyeonggi Ilbo, and various Christian media outlets covered and published articles.
In the Untact era due to prolonged COVID-19, the Good News Mission is preaching the gospel throughout the world through Online Bible Seminars. Through this 2020 World Christian Journalist Forum, we hope that modern Christianity will break away from flowing the religious body-centered and its affiliated church-centered focus, open a new chapter in returning to the Bible, reintegrating and exchanging around the Word, and see a big wave of change in Christianity in Korea.