October 6, 2016
Written by Xiaoling Zhu
Global Ministries Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific
In the summer of 2015, both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ passed a resolution: "A Call For Peace, Justice And Reunification In The Korean Peninsula." Since then, Global Ministries has worked with our global partners and engaged with advocates across the U.S. to advance this goal. This work is more important and urgent than it has been in decades, with North Korea recently firing missiles despite international pressure against such a move and tensions ever increasing between the two nations.
It is hard to image what can be done to create peace, but faith communities around the world are banding together to work towards a just and sustainable peace on the peninsula. To that end, we have built relationships between congregations and conferences in the U.S. and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK). Together we attended a World Council of Churches conference on Korea reunification in Germany. A PROK student took up study at Eden Seminary and is working to support advocacy for reunification. Global Ministries sent two mission personnel to be present in South Korea and UCC and DOC leaders issued the letter to President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter opposing the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea.
The NCCK Peace Treaty Campaign was led by Rev. Kim Young Ju, General Secretary, who traveled to the United States and stopped in Los Angeles, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Washington, DC this July, to promote a plan for permanent peace between North and South Korea.Churches and Religious leaders from the U.S. joined them in this call for peace.
The hostilities of the Korean War ended in July 1953 with the signing of an armistice still in effect today. Aside from this armistice, no permanent plan for peace has existed between North and South Korea.
We are a peace justice church, and we are certainly concerned that the militarization in North Asia is getting worse and worse. North Korea continues nuclear testing, and even facing more serious economic sanctions has not been a deterrent. The US government’s decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) brought in more military power to the conflict. Please join us as we pray for peace in the Korea Peninsula.
[This commentary is adapted from one originally appearing as part of the United Church of Christ's Witness for Justice series.]