Brussels, May, 2nd, 2018 (SIGNIS). During its annual meeting, the board of directors of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, has elected the location for the World Congress 2021: Seoul, South Korea.

Every four years, SIGNIS organizes an international event in order for the members, associates and friends of the association to meet, discuss and exchange ideas on the future of media and communication. The next World Congress will be held in 2021, in Seoul, South Korea.

Seoul, one of the most fascinating cities in the world, with history of more than 600 years as capital of Korea from Chosun dynasty (1392-1910) has been the symbol of Korea’s economic growth and its dynamic culture. Both modern and old buildings are to be found, as well as traditional palaces.

A remarkable thing about the Catholic Church in Korea is that it did not start with the arrival of foreign missionaries, but through the activity of faithful local lay people who learned about Jesus Christ during their annual visits to Beijing.

Korea’s geographical position between China and Japan, gives it an important role in the evangelization of the region. The number of Catholic believers in South Korea accounts for about 11% of whole population (about 5.8 million believers) and the Korean Catholic Church is clearly the most dynamic in northeast Asia.

Myeong-dong Cathedral, situated in the heart of downtown Seoul, is the Cathedral Church for the Archdiocese of Seoul and has become a symbol of the presence of the Catholic Church in Korea.

Several shrines are in Seoul for remembering Korean catholic martyrs. Jeoldoosan shrine, built on the execution place of martyrs, is one of the most visited places by Korean catholic believers for pilgrimage.

2021 marks the 200th anniversary of St. Andrew Kim's birth, the first Korean Catholic priest, who represents Korean martyrs and who is the most respected by Korean Catholic believers. 2021 is then an auspicious year to the Korean Catholic Church.  

Korea may well be called a land of martyrs, as its Catholic Church continues to grow based on their blood.

The Catholic University of Korea, run by Seoul Archdiocese, is the suggested venue and residence for the SWC 2021. It is located at the suburb of Seoul city, and has good facilities such as conference rooms, cafeteria and residence buildings named after Korean first cardinal Stephen Kim.  

The DMZ (de-militarized Zone), dividing South and North Korea, is about 40 km from Seoul city (40 minutes’ drive) and is one of the expected destinations for cultural activity of the World Congress in Seoul. 

In the past, SIGNIS held World Congresses in Rome (2001 and 2014), Lyon (2005), Chiang Mai (2009) and Québec City (2017).