Pope announces next World Youth Day will be in Seoul, South Korea in 2027

Pope Francis announced that the next World Youth Day (WYD) will be held in South Korea, making it the first World Youth Day in Asia in 32 years. The celebration of the faith and spirit of young Catholics is scheduled to occur in 2027; the last WYD in Asia was celebrated in Manila in 1995.

On Sunday, following his officiating over the closing Mass of this year’s WYD at Parque Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, Pope Francis made the momentous announcement. The Archdiocese of Seoul had previously expressed a strong desire to host the WYD, and with the Pope’s approval, their efforts have now succeeded.

According to CBCP News, Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick of Seoul has been a vocal proponent of bringing the WYD to South Korea, which has one of the world’s fastest-growing Catholic populations. He emphasized the significance of this event for Korea, particularly as the country struggles with the “demographic winter.”

Archbishop Chung explained, “In Korea, we face a significant challenge because the total number of young people is drastically decreasing.”

“Compared to 20 years ago, the number of young individuals has decreased by a quarter. Our country has the lowest birth rate in the globe.”

Given this demographic context, the Archbishop views the WYD as a unique opportunity to revitalize youth ministry in the nation and nurture a renewed sense of faith and hope among young people.

St. Pope John Paul II founded World Youth Day in 1984, and it has since become a monumental gathering of young Catholics and young adults from around the world. The event is held every two to three years with a significant international gathering, while Rome hosts smaller celebrations in the intervening years.

The announcement that South Korea will host the WYD reflects the country’s growing presence on the international stage, as its thriving Catholic community has grown substantially in recent years. In 2014, Pope Francis visited South Korea and participated in the Asian Youth Day (AYD) in Daejeon, where he conducted a prayer for peace and reconciliation on the divided Korean peninsula.

World Youth Day 2027 is approaching, and the worldwide Catholic community is preparing for this momentous event in South Korea, which will unquestionably unite and celebrate the faith of young people from diverse backgrounds. This event will not only highlight the flourishing Catholic Church in South Korea, but it will also provide a forum for addressing the unique challenges presented by young people in the region. (Luis Angelo Sta. Maria/Volunteer Writer/San Felipe Neri Parish | Photo from World Youth Day Facebook Page)


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