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◎ South Korean Priests and North Korean Catholics Join Hands to Commemorate Patriot An and Agree on Joint Excavation of His Remains

The Korean Catholic Priests Association for Justice (KCPAJ) and the Association of the North Korean Catholics (ANKC) had a joint celebration of 91st anniversary of the Patriot Thomas An Jung-geun's noble action against Japanese Colonial Ruler, Oct. 26.
The 91st memorial ceremony was held at the same place on the same day and same time that the heroic Korean patriot Thomas An Jung-geun killed in 1909, 91 years ago, Ito Hirobumi, the Japanese Colonial Ruler in Korea.
Participants were 11 South Koran priests from the KCPAJ and the 6 North Korean lay faithful from ANCK including Samuel Chang Jae-eon, president of the Central Committee of the Association of North Korean Catholics, Paul Kang Ji-young, chief secretary of the Committee, Julio Cha Song-keun, president of the Changchung church.
It was a first time that South and North Korean Catholics had such a joint memorial prayer time for Thomas An.
At the seminar on the spirit of An Jung-geun held on the previous day, Oct. 25, the participants form South and North reconfirmed that An Jung-geun is a true Catholic and patriot, and they agreed to make a joint excavation of An's remains and ask assistance to respective government.

Rev. Park Chang-il from the KCPAJ said "we find in An Jung-geun the historical and national consciousness and that is what we have to learn form him. During the event we agreed that the South and North to share and collaborate each other to realize An's spirit."
Rev. Chon Jong-hun, in his presentation at the seminar, insisted on the reunification based on peace; "The reunification of Korea has to be made in sovereign independent spirit and peace. We have to carry out the reunification movement in total dedication mentally and physically as did An Jung-geun. The faith and spirituality of An Jung-geun is founded on the national spirit. He devoted himself for the great cause and realization of human rights, justice and peace (prophetic office); he practiced service, sharing and renouncement of vested rights(royal office); he had a sincere life of prayer, devotion and faith (priestly office). An Jung-geun was a model of the faith life. His theory of peace in Asia was a prophetic and patriotic declaration, and this theory was founded on the spirit of love for God and neighbors that is the very Gospel spirit of Jesus Christ.
The ANCK' speaker said that "An Jung-geun is a genuine national patriot and in him we can find the spirit of self-determination of 70 million Korean people. For 36 years, the Japanese imperialists treated 6 million Koreans as their slaves, killed one million Koreans in battle fields and labor camps, and made over 250,000 Koran women their military sex slaves, and pillaged our land and resources. An Jung-geun's heroic act was against such oppression."
Thomas An Jung-geun as a devoted Catholic killed Ito Hirobumi, the Japanese Colonial Ruler in Korea, October 26th, 1909 at the Harbin railroad station in China.

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