Family Site

Activities for the Sake of People’s Rights

In light of the circumstances during the period, the people’s rights movement was itself missionary work as the campaign played a pivotal role in expanding congregation.

As Ahn was engaged in missionary work for his compatriots, he became critical of the churches’ missionary 
policies which, he though, disregarded the sufferings and the pains of the Korean people and only took care of their own business. Ahn believed that a religion should comprehensively realize the unity of man’s body and soul, the reality and the afterlife, and individuals and society. 
Ahn developed a modernist sense of promoting people’s rights through Catholicism and realized that all men are the most dignified and equal by learning Catholic catechism. At that time, the existence of grass-roots in Korean society was threatened with the corruption of the central government officials and the extortion of taxes by provincial officials. Ahn always contemplated on how to “develop Korea into a strong civilized nation where the people can freely enjoy their rights” and assumed a critical attitude against the extreme conservatives. Armed with passionate church activities and strong faith, Ahn became a leader of the grass-roots and Catholic believers in his own village. Ahn’s movement was aimed at building a civilized independent nation and at recovering the freedom of people’s rights. Although he had been grown in a rich aristocratic family, Ahn began to perceive Catholicism as another medium of enlightenment and civilization now that the enlightenment party in Korea has been overthrown. He accepted Catholicism in order to promote enlightenment and civilization and develop Korea into a civilized nation with his compatriots through the teachings of Catholicism. Therefore, Ahn accepted Catholicism based on his learning of Confucianism and knowledge about enlightenment and led his people’s rights movement with the base of Catholic churches and the faith. 

Ahn Jung Geun Memorial Museum

Sowol, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea 91 Tel: 02-3789-1016/1026 (Night 02-3789-3232)

Copyright ⓒ 2014 Ahn Jung Geun Memorial Museum of KOREA. All Rights Reserved.