Athanasius Yoo, M.D., B.D., Korea: Why I Became An Eastern Orthodox Christian



Athanasius Yoo, M.D., B.D., Korea:

Why I Became An Eastern Orthodox Christian




My long pilgrimage to the Mother Church has been completed. As I think back over the long road of this pilgrimage, I become filled with deep emotion. For by the grace of God, I, a stray sheep, have found the lovely bosom of the Good Shepherd, the true body of Christ, – the One, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Therefore, it is my conviction that my humble retrospections should in nowise come to naught to those who are outside of the true Church of Christ.

I am a Korean and a medical doctor by profession. My father was an Elder of the Presbyterian Church in Korea and my mother a very devout deaconess of same. Consequently I was brought up in an unusually religious atmosphere.

My mother hoped that I would become a minister of the Presbyterian Church. But I had no interest in that profession because the example of the Protestant ministers at that time was much too superficial and did not impress me as being Christian at all. And so I entered medicine instead, finished medical school and began practicing in Seoul, Korea. I continued my medical practice until the unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire. The fall of Japanese imperialism, and the subsequent independence of Korea, impressed me greatly with the frailty of life and of the world.

After a period of sincere prayer and meditation, I decided to dedicate myself to the ministry. I entered the Presbyterian Theological School in Seoul, Korea … with deep conviction and fervent faith for my newly chosen profession. Soon after, however, I was confronted with the malignant teaching of higher biblical criticism and of rationalistic modernistic doctrine. The evil shadow of Harnack and Deissmann, the poisonous sabotage of the Tubingen School, the narcotic abomination of Schleicher­macher and Rutschul dominated the School. The revival of twentieth century Arianism and Nestorianism was promoted and the so-called “social Gospel” emphasized. Moreover, the Second Coming of Christ and the doctrine of everlasting life were counted as convictions of the ignorant. Had I not entered this Theological School, I probably would have kept my peace of mind. But once I had learned the false theology of this school, I lost my peace of mind. Indeed, I found it impossible to accept these heretical Protestant teachings without going against my conscience and good faith.

As a result, I began to look for more conservative Protestant teachings in order to find consolation . . . but I could not find any. With deep unrest and despair, I began reading some Roman Catholic theological books and my interest in the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church concerning the Virginity of the Virgin Mary, the Apostolic Succession, and Transubstantiation, was greatly aroused. However, because of the lack of books, my reading in Roman Catholic doctrine was limited. In the meantime, I continued my theological studies at the Presbyterian seminary and after my graduation from there was advised to be ordained. But I refused ordination because I now felt that the ministry of the Protestant Church lacked Apostolic Succession and was therefore null and void.

After much thought and hesitation, I finally became a Roman Catholic in 1950. Up until this time I had no contact whatsoever with the Orthodox Church.

Upon studying Roman Catholic doctrine, however, I found many false teachings in it also. Those that bothered me especially were the following:

1.The withdrawal of the cup from the laity during Communion.

2.The Doctrine of the Infallibility of the Pope.

3.The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

4.The Doctrine of Purgatory.

5.The Doctrine of Indulgences.

6.The universal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome.

7.The exclusive Latinity in the Mass and in other services.

If I refused to accept the above doctrines, I would be under anathema. And so I remained in a state of confusion. In order to resolve the problems I had about the Roman doctrine, I began studying the writings of the Church Fathers. These along with scholastic theology, I read for a long time. My conclusion from all these studies was that the Roman Catholic Church, too, had gone astray as had the Protestant. In doubt, despair, and agony, I decided to go to the United States in order to escape my doctrinal troubles. I arrived in the United States in 1955.

In the United States, I studied advanced medical science and also continued my theological studies. For the first time I was given the opportunity to read into Eastern Orthodox theology. Up until this time I had had no contact with Orthodox Christians or with any Orthodox Church. Thanks be to God, however, for He led me by His Holy Spirit to the primitive, conservative, and most pure and virgin faith of Christianity! For I discovered that in the Orthodox Church, Christianity with all its richness and essence was to be found. In the bosom of the Orthodox Church, my despaired soul found a resting place, a heavenly harbor! With great joy and hope, I decided to become an Orthodox Christian about a year ago. At first I hesitated to make a hasty decision for fear of disgracing myself by frequent changes of denominations. But gradually I became convinced of the validity of Orthodoxy.

By the Grace of God, I was convinced that I must serve Him through the priesthood of the Orthodox Church. And so I began following the way of the Cross, willing to sacrifice anything. Through the kindness of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael and His Grace, Bishop Athenagoras of Elaia, I was given permission to study Orthodox theology at the Holy Cross Orthodox Theological School in Brookline, Massachusetts, in preparation for the priesthood. My desire is to return to Korea as a medical-priest missionary after my ordination into the Orthodox Church, and join the Orthodox mission which already exists in Seoul, Korea.


Dialog mit protestantischen Priestern in Korea ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* German


Dialog mit protestantischen Priestern in Korea



Nach wiederholten Einladungen des Nationalen Kirchenrates von Korea (National Council of Churches in Korea = NCCK) an die Heiligen Metropolis von Korea, der sie als Vollmitglied bei sich aufzunehmen wünschte, wurde mit dem Segen des Ökumenischen Patriarchen die Einladung angenommen, unter der Voraussetzung, nur im Rahmen des theologischen Dialoges teilzuhaben, zugunsten des orthodoxen Bekenntnisses, ohne in politische oder andere Aktivitäten involviert zu werden.

Im Rahmen dieses Übereinkommens ist die Metropolis darum gebeten worden, Vorträge über die Orthodoxe Kirche vor protestantischen Pastoren der Städte Seoul, Tsountson und Tsontzou zu halten, die mit Rednern dem Ehrwürdigen Metropoliten v. Korea Herrn Ambrosios in Seoul und den koreanischen Priestern Vt. Jeremias Tzo in Tsountson und Vt. Hilarion Tzong in Tsontzou verwirklicht wurden.

Es folgt das Gespräch zwischen dem Ehrwürdigen und den Herren und Frauen Pastoren und Pastorinnen, das nach dem Vortrag in den zentralen Büroräumlichkeiten des NCCK in Seoul am Montag, dem 18.Juni 2012, stattfand.

ERSTE FRAGE: Stimmen Sie der Theorie der Römisch-Katholischen über Petrus und der „Petra“ (Fels) zu, die sie als Begründung für den Papstprimat angeben?

ANTWORT: Selbstverständlich nicht. Für uns Orthodoxe stellen sich die Dinge einfach und deutlich dar. Die Jünger, mit ihrem Haupt Jesus Christus, waren untereinander gleichberechtigt, und keiner von ihnen hat jemals daran gedacht, sich selbst als ersten und einzigen Stellvertreter Christi auf Erden 계속 “Dialog mit protestantischen Priestern in Korea ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* German” 읽기

Τα ίχνη του Θεού στην Κορέα – Από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία



Τα ίχνη του Θεού στην Κορέα

Από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία

Mιά ἀναφορά ἀπό τήν Ὀρθόδοξη Ἱεραποστολή στήν Κορέα. Γράφει ὁ Ἐπίσκοπος Ζήλων Σωτήριος:

«Χαρακτηριστική ἡ περίπτωσι ἑνός φοιτητοῦ στή Seoul: ἐπιθυμοῦσε νά γίνη Xριστιανός. Μελετοῦσε Ἁγία Γραφή. Πήγαινε στίς Προτεσταντικές Ἐκκλησίες καί στή Ρωμαιοκαθολική. Δέν τόν γέμιζαν. “Κάτι λείπει…” αἰσθανόταν. Ὥσπου μέσῳ τοῦ Internet βρῆκε τήν Ὀρθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία. “Αὐτό εἶναι ὁ χριστιανισμός τόν ὁποῖο ἔψαχνα”, ὁμολόγησε. Ἀνεπιφύλακτα κατηχήθηκε, βαπτίσθηκε καί ζῆ τήν ἐν τῷ Φωτί τοῦ Προσώπου Του ζωή τοῦ πιστοῦ.

Ἄλλος Κορεάτης ἀριστοῦχος φοιτητής, πρώην βουδιστής, παρακολούθησε μῆνες κατήχησι μέ πολύ ἐνδιαφέρον. Κάποτε χάθηκε. Ξαναεμφανίσθηκε μετά ἕξι μῆνες. “Ποῦ ἤσουν;”, τόν ρώτησα. “Πήγαινα στίς ἄλλες Ἐκκλησίες τῆς Σεούλ νά δῶ μήπως ὑπάρχει καλύτερη ἀπό τήν Ὀρθόδοξη ἀλλά δέν βρῆκα. Τώρα εἶμαι ἀπόλυτα σίγουρος γιά τήν πληρότητα τῆς Ὀρθόδοξης”. Βαπτίσθηκε καί διακρίνεται γιά τό ζῆλο του.

Κι ἕνα ἀκόμη χαρακτηριστικό: ῞Ελληνας καθηγητής τῆς φιλοσοφίας, καλεσμένος νά δώση σειρά διαλέξεων σέ Πανεπιστήμια τῆς Σεούλ, σέ εἰδική συνάντησί του μέ ὅλους τούς καθηγητές φιλοσοφίας τῆς κορεατικῆς πρωτεύουσας, μίλησε μαζί τους γιά τήν κρίσι τῆς σημερινῆς νεολαίας καί τίς μορφές τίς ὁποῖες παρουσιάζει στήν Κορέα. “Τί νομίζετε ὅτι θά βοηθοῦσε τούς Κορεάτες νέους νά ξεπεράσουν τά προβλήματά τους;”, ρώτησε. Ἀπάντησε ὁ Πρύτανις ἑνός ἀπό τά τρία μεγαλύτερα Πανεπιστήμια τῆς Σεούλ, καθηγητής φιλοσοφίας ἐπίσης: “Ὁ αὐθεντικός χριστιανισμός, ὅπως τόν διεφύλαξε καί τόν βιώνει ἡ Ὀρθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία”. Ὁ ἴδιος ἀνήκει σέ προτεσταντική Ἐκκλησία, ἀλλά σέβεται βαθειά τήν Ὀρθοδοξία καί πρό ἐτῶν μέ κάλεσε στό Πανεπιστήμιό του καί μίλησα στούς φοιτητές»


Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννου Κωστώφ

Τά Ἴχνη τοῦ Θεοῦ – Ἀπό τόν Προτεσταντισμό στήν Ὀρθοδοξία

ἐκδ. Ἅγ. Ἰωάννης ὁ Δαμασκηνός

Ἀθήνα 2011

Link: 예비신자 Catechumen

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예비신자 Catechumen

모래밭: 한국정교회 대교구 Orthodox Metropolis of Korea – Link홈-페이지/

한국정교회 대교구 Orthodox Metropolis of Korea

Korea: The touching conversion story of an elderly Korean woman from Buddhism to Orthodoxy



Korea: The touching conversion story of

an elderly Korean woman from Buddhism to Orthodoxy

“This grandma case was very touching. She lives in Seoul, close to her other children. One of her sons and his family who live in the village Polang-Ree converted to Orthodoxy a long time ago. He had announced this to his mother, trying to motivate her to convert to Christianity as well. But as she was an elderly woman, she couldn’t understand much of what they were telling her. Until, one day, one of her son’s daughters, who worked in some private business doing very hard work all week, moved to Seoul. Every Saturday she would say:

-Granny, I’m going to Church after work for my singing rehearsal and the Vespers.

And on Sundays, very early in the morning:

-Granny, I have to go. I’m teaching the morning group of Sunday School. Then, there’s Holy Liturgy. Then, our youth congregation. We’re going to have lunch all together. Don’t worry that I’ll be back in the afternoon.

-Don’t you get too tired my child?

-No, granny. This relieves me from all tiredness and troubles of the week. It gives me strength, joy… It revives me. Because I find Christ in Church , granny, the real God. I receive Him in my soul.

And her granddaughter shone all over. She was so much different from all other girls her age grandma knew.

“So these were my sons words I could not understand”, she was thinking…

Months went by. Every Sunday her granddaughter looked just as happy on the outside as well as in her heart each time she returned from the Church. The same thoughts were on granny’s mind.

In the end she made her decision:

-You said that you teach children about Christ. Can you teach me as well , who is He who gives you so much happiness?

The granddaughter jumped for joy! She’d been praying all this time in secret for this blessed moment to come for her beloved granny. Little by little with patience and love she started catechizing her. What helped her most was her own life’s good example.

Granny started coming to Church. Sunday after Sunday , her adaptation to this new experience was remarkable:

-I want to be baptized before I die…

This was her desire.

She even attended some special classes.

-I believe and I love Christ.

And when the preparation for her Holy Baptism started, she timidly asked:

-Can I be given my granddaughter’s name, who led me to this Paradise?

“Come and see” is addressed to the souls of the Korean people who never got to know Christ, our Saviour, in such ways of life testimony. In the tension of their life struggles, material needs or goals of their lives, beaten by insecurities, by despair, the most convincing invitation to His Kingdom is a silent testimony of a genuinely Christian life”.




순결하신 동정녀시여, 정결한 테오토코스여 O Virgin Pure




순결하신 동정녀시여, 정결한 테오토코스여

O Virgin Pure

순결하신 동정녀시여, 정결한 테오토코스여

왕비인 동정녀 어머니, 시원한 위로를 주시는

하늘보다 더 높으신, 광채보다 더 빛나는

동정녀들 중 큰 기쁨이신, 천사 중에 가장 높으신

하늘보다 빛을 더 발하고 빛보다 더 투명하신,

하늘의 천사 군대보다 가장 거룩하신

당신께 간청하나이다, 지금 당신을 부릅니다.

왕비여, 불쌍히 여기사 우리를 중보하소서.

정결하고 흠 없는 딸이시여, 동정녀 성모 마리아여

당신께 호소하나이다, 거룩한 성전이시여.

온갖 시련에서 보호해 주시고 구원해 주소서.

영원한 생명을 유산으로 물려 주소서.

혼인한 바 없는 신부여, 기뻐하소서.