A Prayer for A Nuclear-Free World

This prayer was written for the inaugural worship of the Korean Christian Network for a Nuclear-Free World, also known as the Korean Network for a World Free of Nuclear Power and Weapons, on March 1, 2012, to commemorate the 93rd anniversary of the 1919 Independence Movement against Japanese occupation and the first anniversary of Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster at once. The original Korean version was translated into English by Ms. Maryon Kim, and modified by the author.


God of freedom and liberation!

Facing the 93rd anniversary of the 1919 Independence Movement,
we remember our ancestors,
who believed in the God of the Exodus and courageously rose up toward a future of life.

With the sincere faith of conscience, and the hope of a joyful life for future generations,
they declared this nation's right to life, freedom and independence,
and they prayed for true peace in Northeast Asia and the world.

But now at the start of the 21st century
we witness, with worried and fearful hearts,
that this beautiful peninsula is covered by the dark cloud of nuclear weapons and power plants.

In this land where Rachel's lamenting over historical pains has not ceased,
and where the scars of suffering and wrongful death have not healed,
once again we see the shadow of death hanging over us.

On the current world historical stage,
North Korea has chosen nuclear weapons and South Korea has clung to nuclear energy.
The Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia
have become the world's most dangerous nuclear minefield,
surrounded by nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.

O God, hear our prayers of lament and repentance!

We lament the foolishness of humanity,
which despite the experience of two world wars in the 20th century,
is still caught in the vicious cycle of increasing wars and weaponry.

We repent that human greed and selfishness has led us
to pour astronomical amounts of money and resources into the arms race,
even as countless children are starving to death in our global village.

Awaken us to realize
that our true security lies not in nuclear weapons
but in trusting you and respecting our neighbors.

O God, who watches the empires rise and fall!

Grant wisdom to our governments and corporations,
that they may turn away from their worship of the idol of unlimited economic growth,
which makes the strong prey on the weak.
May they instead choose the way of cosmic truth:
the life of conviviality with all living beings, humans and nature.

As we confess and repent of our sins of greed and consumerism in  pursuit of nuclear power, grant us humble hearts and simple lives.
Awaken us to know
that true wealth is found not in the accumulation of material goods
but in a creative, sharing life.

May we learn that nuclear weapons and nuclear energy are not compatible with peace.
Lead us to be free from nuclear preoccupation.
Awaken us to know that our true strength is not in nuclear power but in love and justice.

O God, hear our prayers!

Grant us the courage to go through the narrow gate that leads to life,
not the wide gate that leads to destruction (Mt 7:13-14).
May we leave to our children not a painful and terrible heritage, but a life that uses natural energy from your created sun, wind and water.

O God, lead us Korean Christians
not to export nuclear power plants, an act that is contrary to your command of justice and love, but to live as your apostles of peace, teaching your life and peace.

Remembering that on the cross our Lord shared the suffering of the nuclear radiation victims,
and hoping that a new heaven and new earth of life and peace may be realized
from Mount Halla in the south to Mount Paekdu in the north,
throughout Northeast Asia and all the earth,
we pray in the name of Christ Jesus.

Amen.

Rev. Dr. Hyunju Bae, Presbyterian Church of Korea, Central Committee member of the WCC

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