In modern Korean history the May 18th Gwangju Democratic Uprising of 1980 both taughtus what it is to be "truly human and truly united' in the face of death and suffering caused by state violence and it also showed us the direction and Values that We Ought to aim for and Work towards.
It has been 30 years since the uprising occurred, and in the meantime, many of those who participated in the uprising have become men of national merit and the May 18th Gwangju Democratic Uprising has become a day of national remembrance for the people of Korea. The graves where bodies were at One time carried to by garbage trucks and buried have now become a national cemetery. And the May 18th Gwangju Democratic Uprising has become the cornerstone of not only the pro-democracy movement but also of the movements for human rights, justice and peace, and national reunification.
The Diocese of Gwangju has demanded that the truth betold so as to honor the noble sacrifices of those who participated, and it has also exerted itself in the promotion of human rights in the local community during and after the May 18th Gwangju Democratic Uprising.
The Diocese of Gwangju remembers those who were very supportive of the suffering citizens of Gwangju. They encouraged and supported the citizens of Gwangju by providing financial aid, praying for them, gathering signatures and by staging marches. In particular, their financial aid was a great help in supporting the families of victims facing the struggles of life, in helping the Catholic Church execute its emergency relief plans and in promoting human rights.
Through expressing our gratitude and love for the victims of the May 18th Gwangju Democratic Uprising, We are not only endeavoring to share with all suffering victims, but are also trying to collaborate with them. By marking the 30th anniversary of the May 18th Democratic Uprising, the Diocese of Gwangju is planning to establish a foundation to promote human rights, conduct surveys and provide support not only domestically but also internationally.