World Youth Day, 2027, in Seoul, South Korea

Young pilgrims from South Korea rejoice together as Pope Francis announces that the next World Youth Day will be held in Seoul, Asia, after 30 years. The announcement reflects the growing importance of the Asian continent to the Catholic Church, as it continues to grow and prosper in Asia while declining in traditionally Christian Europe.

Growing Catholicism in Asia

Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of young people and urges them to follow their dreams. The Pope says the Church and the world need the contribution of young people just as the earth needs rain. The pope’s message resonated with an estimated 1.5 million pilgrims who attended an open-air mass in Portugal for World Youth Day.

South Korea’s Catholic population is growing

South Korea’s Catholic population has seen remarkable growth in recent years. Catholics, who were just 1% of the population half a century ago, now make up 10% of the country’s 50 million people. According to Vatican statistics, more than 100,000 people are baptized in South Korea each year. Seoul’s selection as the host city for World Youth Day in 2027 is a testament to the country’s vibrant Catholic community.

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