A Seventh-day Adventist magazine in Korea was recently granted legacy status in the capital city of that Asian nation. The Korean edition of Signs of the Times was selected as a “Seoul Future Heritage” item, the only publication to reach that mark in 2017.
The “Seoul Future Heritage” label, which was launched in 2013, is awarded to any tangible or intangible cultural asset worthy of being left for future generations, according to officials of the populous city. The monthly Signs of the Times magazine is published by Sijosa, the Adventist publishing house in the country. It is unofficially the oldest periodical in Korea, as its first issue was published in September 1910.
“[As the magazine] was the only publication among the 54 items selected in 2017, it is a joy for Korean Adventists, and we give glory to God,” said regional church leaders. “Perhaps the most meaningful thing about it is that the citizens of Seoul were the ones that nominated the magazine for the award.” As part of the selection process, the Future Heritage Preservation Committee visited Sijosa in December 2016, before a final decision was reached.
In January, city officials delivered the certificate to Sijosa in a special ceremony. A copper plate plaque was installed in front of the company building, certifying that the magazine is now a Seoul Future Heritage item. In March, Sijosa began to include a Seoul Future Heritage symbol on the cover of the magazine.
“Achieving future heritage status means that the Korean society officially approves the value of the magazine,” said regional church leaders. “It is a heritage based on the social and emotional wellbeing of citizens…and above all, it confirms that the message of Adventist Church enlightens society and enhances the dignity and value of human beings.”
Being selected as a “Seoul Future Heritage” item has raised the status of the magazine, said church leaders, who believe the Adventist message now has greater weight. It has also encouraged the work of literature evangelists, who now can recommend the magazine to people. And many more are noticing it. Chung Sye Kyun, Speaker of the National Assembly, took notice of the magazine after its selection and is now sharing it with his peers.
“Being a Seoul Future Heritage item is a big privilege and a big duty,” said Chun Kwang Hwang, president of the Adventist Church in Korea. “Signs of the Times is not just a magazine, but a gospel emissary that changes people, plants churches, and sets the captives free.”
Sijosa president Kil Soo Um said he felt overwhelmed to see God’s guiding hand in the selection process of the magazine and highlighted the crucial role of the publication.
“Signs of the Times is a seed of everlasting life for people we often cannot meet face to face,” Um said. “Keep us in your prayers, so that this award can help us to increase the magazine’s far-reaching power.”