On August 22, the funeral service of the late pastor Park Hyung-gyu was held at Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea. He was the first chairman of the Korea Democracy Foundation and one of the leaders of the democratization movement in Korea, and his funeral was conducted by the church he belonged to, following the wish of the late pastor Park and his family.
The funeral service was attended by a number of figures from the political and religious communities who participated in the democratization movement with him, including Seoul’s major Park Won-sun. Officers and employees of KDF also attended the funeral service, praying for the repose of the deceased.
A preacher at the funeral service stated “Pastor Park led Korea to the era of democracy, the public and the people, making a departure from dictatorship. Late pastor Park, you were the epitome of Korea’s church and modern history.” And he added “Let’s follow in the footsteps of the late pastor Park and live as believers acting up to words and with the shouts of guards.”
The late pastor Park Hyung-gyu passed away at the age of 94 at his home on August 18. He dedicated his entire life to missionary for the poor and movements for human rights, labor and democratization, and was called the ‘pastor on the road.’ After the funeral service, he was laid to rest next to his late wife in Paju, Gyeounggi-do.
Profile of the late pastor Park Hyung-gyu
|1923||Born in Changwon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do|
|1930||Went to a Christian school under the influence of his mother|
|1944||Married Miss Cho Cheong-ha and had 2 sons and 2 daughters|
|1944||Arrested by Gimhae police station on charge of disseminating national ideology|
|1950||Served (as a civilian) at propaganda bureau of the Japanese headquarters of the US’ Far Eastern Army|
|1960||Ordained as pastor at Seoul Church|
|1962||Acquired a master’s degree in theology from Union Theological Seminary, NY, USA|
|1972||Appointed as senior pastor at Seoul Cheil Evangelical Holiness Church (served for 20 years)|
|1973||Arrested due to joint service on Eaters Day|
|1974||Arrested on charge of revolt (National Youth Federation for Democracy)|
|1975||Arrested on charge of missionary fund seizure and embezzlement|
|1978||Arrested on charge of violation of Presidential Emergency Measure #9|
|1983||Maneuvered by Defense Security Command, gangsters began to obstruct service at Seoul Cheil Evangelical Holiness Church.|
|1984||Started to conduct Lord’s day worship in front of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in order to avoid the violence of gangsters|
|1987||Arrested on charge of organizing a nationwide protest against the cover-up of the torture and murder of Park Jong-cheol (student) and the indirect election of president|
|1992||Retired from Seoul Cheil Evangelical Holiness Church|
|1998||Served as standing advisor at the Korea Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation|
|2001~2004||Served as the chairman of the Korea Democracy Foundation|
|2007~2011||Served as the chairman of the Korea Peace Foundation|