On December 6, 2018, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and New Rome, Bartholomew visited the Salvation Army of Korea found in central Seoul. He met with the local Salvation officials in the Myeong-dong district of Seoul and made a public statement of charity. He denounced the current consumerist habits of contemporary society and encouraged people to be more giving and philanthropic not just during the Christmas season, but all year round.
HAH then visited the Salvation Army’s local shelter which provides temporary housing and meals for those that find themselves living without a home or family. HAH was moved and stated that the hard workers of the Salvation Army was doing exactly what Our Lord has commanded us to do, feed the poor and clothe the naked. He commended them on their work and encouraged future collaboration and close relations with the Orthodox Church of Korea.
The Salvation Army grew out of the 19th century Protestant movement in Europe. It’s founder, William Booth (1829-1912), was a Methodist Minister who, in a model after military obedience, developed a Christian community that focused its efforts on “practical philanthropy.”
We pray that the Salvation Army community of Korea can become more familiar with its Christian roots through the Orthodox Church and the two communities can continue their mission of loving their neighbors.