25 June 2020, originally published by the World Council of Churches
Churches throughout the world are calling for a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War that started 70 years ago today.
News story re-posted from World Council of Churches
22 June 2020
A Joint Ecumenical Peace Message for the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War was publicly delivered on 22 June during a live-streamed event. Co-sponsored by churches and councils of churches around the world, especially from countries that participated in the Korean War, the message describes the Korean War as an “appallingly destructive conflict” after which no peace treaty was ever concluded.Read more
During the COVID-19 crisis, the church serves the spiritual and social needs of people afflicted by the pandemic which is gripping the world, and its key role was highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO).Read more
Thomas Smith is serving in Korea which is categorized as a Level 3 country dealing with the COVID 19 virus. Global Ministries has been in regular contact with both Thomas and the partner and received this note about his well-being:
As you must be already following the news, the COVID 19-situation in Korea is getting serious. There are numerous actions taken and many international gatherings cancelled or postponed in Korea.
Thomas, who is doing his volunteer work in Haenam (Haenam Yanmuri Church), in the field of English Ministry, is adapting and enjoying his work! Haenam, is noted as one of the ‘clean zones’ of South Korea without any positive diagnosis on COVID 19. Last weekend, our whole department went to Haenam in order to show our support to the congregation and especially to Thomas. We all shared the impression that he was ‘in his element’!
Churches worldwide are invited to pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula from 1 March to 15 August. During the "Light of Peace" campaign 70 prayers and stories will correspond with a commemoration of 70 years since the Korean War in 2020. In cooperation with the National Council of Churches in Korea, prayers will be published online each week.
A Prayer of Confession for our Divided World
(Light of Peace Prayer #33)
God, Creator of all lands we inhabit and souls we meet,
You beckon us to know in our hearts that if we do live and move and have our being in you,
Then we are wholly yours, and you, God of all, are fully present,
And that there is no division in your divine love.
Yet we confess to you that too often we forget this Holy truth.
Too often, although we all share in your divine presence, we are preoccupied by self.
We incline toward our own devices. We draw sharp lines and build tall walls.
We turn toward those we perceive to be like us, and against those we claim are not.
From America we confess the ways our nation stacks the global deck with such cruel distinctions as in and out, with us or against us.
Enamored of our destiny, we inscribe in our polemics and histories myths of inherent right. Our leaders cast seeds of suspicion and rumors of war from behind palisades of privilege.
Forgive us, Gracious God.
May we use this time of social transformation as a Sabbath from our many separations.
May we turn to you, reminded again of your vision for unity in our fractured world.
Where we have sown fear, show us how to reap understanding.
Where we have become estranged from your creation, help us walk humbly on the earth.
Where we have chosen war over peace and invested in systems of death over life, may we be agents of reconciliation in divided lands.
After more than 70 years may the Korean people especially be reunited, we pray.
God of Hope, inspire us during this time of crisis.
May we, like the yearning mother who petitioned King Solomon
Proclaim there’s greater wisdom in a love that
Refuses to allow our children to be divided.
Thank you, Comforting God, that we belong to you and that we share the wholeness of your creation.
When our human factions have worn thin, and the connections we may have once clung to no longer hold meaning, may we be assured in knowing that we can abide in you and in your love.
Bless us in our renewed yearning for each other and for your embrace.
In the name of Christ who reconciles us to you, we pray this prayer of confession. Amen.
Derek Duncan, Area Executive
The autumn at the Ecumenical Office of the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of South Korea has been a very busy time for me.Read more
Story from World Council of Churches
Even as international tension mounts, religious leaders from North and South Korea renewed their exchange during a December meeting that kept the push for peace alive. Members of the Steering Committee of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula – including delegations from the Korean Christian Federation (KCF) of North Korea and of the National Council of Churches in South Korea (NCCK) – met in Shenyang, China, on 2-3 December 2019.
Participants of the Steering group meeting of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace on the Korean Peninsula. Photo: NCCKRead more
Written by John Ahn and Jess KimRead more
I am a Global Mission Intern, living in Seoul. I work with our partners in the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea in their ecumenical office.Read more
Joint Pastoral Letter signed by 54 Hong Kong Chinese Christian Ministers and Scholars on 5 August 2019
Brothers and sisters in Christ. Peace be with you all.
Today Hong Kong is at a time of crisis. Clashes in society are escalating by the day. In June, we experienced two massive protest rallies. In July, on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day, apart from the protest rally, there was the storming of the Legislative Council building. By the second half of July, we also had the 7.21 Yuen Long and 7.28 Western District incidents. During these multiple demonstration clashes, demonstrators charged forward and the police reacted with tougher and tougher measures. Amid all these protests and clashes, the government, other than repeating its views and condemnations against the violence, has not truly addressed the demands of the people, nor taken any measures to calm down the situation. At the time of writing, Hong Kong is facing the "three strikes" and rallies in all districts intended to force the government to respond to the demands. Hong Kong is like a box full of explosives ready to explode.Read more