For the sixth consecutive month the number of births in South Korea has increased. The data published by the National Statistics Office say so, showing that in September new born children had increased by 2.2 per cent. The statistics reveal a constant increase since April, a most encouraging fact in a country which, until today, has been among those with the lowest birth rate. A government survey, published in August 2014 immediately after Pope Francis’ departure from South Korea, pointed out the rate of the demographic downturn in the country as the highest in the world. At the root of this phenomenon is a national culture characterized by economic growth at all costs and a backbreaking work pace. Aware of these dangers, while celebrating Mass for the Assumption in Daejon Stadium last 15 August, the Pope encouraged Catholics to oppose “inhumane economic models which create… the culture of death”. Albeit somewhat late in the day, the Government has taken the side of the religions and has enacted measures that provide some tax relief for couples with children and protect pregnant women.
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