Catholic Persecution of 1801

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The Catholic Persecution of 1801, also known as the Sinyu Persecution (신유박해, 辛酉迫害), was a mass persecution of Korean Catholics ordered by queen great-grandmother Queen Jeongsun during King Sunjo of Joseon's reign on 8 April 1801 (the 26th of the 2nd lunar month) as a cover for a political persecution of her opposing faction in the government, less hostile to Catholicism.

Notable events during the persecution include the Hwang Sa-yeong Incident, in which Hwang, a persecuted Catholic and nephew of renowned scholar Yag-yong Jung, who was exiled for having been sympathetic to Catholicism despite later losing interest, attempted to send a correspondence to Catholic priests in Beijing, China, detailing the persecution and pleading with the Ching dynasty of China to intervene on behalf of Catholics in Joseon, with Western ships if necessary. The letter was intercepted en route, and Hwang was executed on December 10 (the 5th of 11th lunar month).

At the conclusion of the persecution, some 199 were had been exiled who were ordered to be watched closely during the remainder of their lives.

See also[edit]


  • The Founding of Catholic Tradition in Korea, ed. by Chai-Shin Yu (Mississauga: Korean and Related Studies Press, 1996). ISBN 0-9681072-2-2
  • Jai-Keun Choi, The Origin of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea: An Examination of Popular and Governmental Responses Catholic Missions in the Late Chosôn Dynasty (Cheltenham, PA: Hermit Kingdom Press, 2006). ISBN 1-59689-064-9


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