Decline in birth rate caused by govt policies: Bishop

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the birth rate continues to decline in South Korea that has one of the lowest birth rates in the world at around 1.05 %.

Korea
Apr 04 2014, 3:16 PM
Decline in birth rate caused by govt policies: Bishop
Bishop Peter Kang U-il

The declining birth rates in Korea “has been caused by government policies over the years,” said Bishop Peter Kang U-il of Cheju in response to a recent government report on population.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the birth rate continues to decline in South Korea that has one of the lowest birth rates in the world at around 1.05 %. The data stated that the trend has been negative for 13 consecutive months and continues to fall.

Bishop Kang, who is also President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, asserted that the artificial birth control that has been imposed for decades have ended up in a national disaster.

“Many Koreans now feel that it will be a serious challenge to Korea. A nationwide campaign and continuous effort are needed to recover the birth rate to a degree that this society could work out. Otherwise Korea will hardly be able to continue its development in every aspect of life,” Bishop Kang said.

The Committee for Life and Bioethics of the Bishops Conference of Korea had last month held a solemn Mass for Life in Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul. On Ash Wednesday, it also launched the Forty Days of Prayer for Life, a chain of rosaries recited with the intention that the1973 Law on the Mother and Child’s Health which legalized abortion be abolished.

The South Korean Catholic Church has always been promoting pro-life activities. The late Cardinal Kim had made it a main issue for the national pastoral agenda. The Catholic community time and again promoted awareness-raising activities, family support programs and demonstrations against tax policies which effectively penalize large families.

The seriousness of birth decline issue has now made even a government authority to voice similar concerns. Commenting on the newly released statistics, the Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs asked the government to intervene with policies to support the family. According to its analysts, “Too many people shy away from the idea of marriage and having children. The government must put a new system in place that provides health care and insurance to those who decide to start a family. We also need a change of mentality, which is perhaps the most worrying factor.”

The Institute had acknowledged the problem of declining birth rates in 2012 July, and an appeal was made then also for government intervention with family support programmes.

Source: CBCP News

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