2020: With blue umbrellas...

WCC.  2020-06-25

With blue umbrellas for unity, the people stand for peace in Korea

25 June 2020
The convocation, coordinated by the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, commemorated 70 years since the start of the Korean War. Held at the White Horse Hill Memorial in Cholwon, the observance took place on one of the most ferocious battlefields of the Korean War.

In a peace message read aloud, participants prayed: "Here we pray that God may hear the cry of the victims' blood from the ground and grant them peace," adding, "We pray for God's grace that we may be strengthened to reflectour path of the past and heal our wounds of the war.

"In a message to the convocation, WCC interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr loan Sauca wished both grace and peace to all those near and far who were supporting the peacemakers.“

In this important moment for witness for peace, we are committed and determined to pursue the Christian calling to be peacemakers, the vision of peaceful coexistence between North and South, and ultimately the reunification of the long-divided Korean people," wrote Sauca. "We look forward to continuing this pilgrimage of justice and peace with you."

Rev. Dr Jae Cheon Lee, general secretary of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, prayed for the countless young souls who fought to death on the site of the memorial. "Here we pray that God may hear the cry of the victims' blood from the ground and grant them eternal peace," said Lee. "We call upon the global Christiancommunities and friends to stand with us here in the movement toward a peaceful world."

Rev. Soonjong Youg, moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, spoke of the wounds of the Korean War, wounds that keep the Korean Peninsula from moving toward peace and reunification."

Although there were two historic summits between the North and the United States of America, the Korean Peninsula still lies in uncertainty," said Youg. lt is time for all of us to pray. It is a crisis of reconciliation and peace."

He urged all to ensure war will never happen again on the Korean Peninsula. Teace is our only option," he said. “We have to give all our strength, and pray with all our heart that God may give us peace. We have to do everything to open a new age of peace."

Youg made a fervent call for prayers across the world. l call for your commitment toward courageous steps for peace and reunification in the face offoreign interference," he said. "As sincere Christians, let us embrace the scars of this nation, caused by the division, that those may be healed."


Churches say that peace treaty is essential next step for the Korean Peninsula

Churches throughout the world are calling for a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War that started 70 years ago today.

They are also calling for the normalization of relations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, in the quest for a peaceful future for the Korean Peninsula.

Seventy years ago, today, the war began in northeast Asia and left the Korean Peninsula devastated. Fighting was suspended by a ceasefire — the Armistice Agreement of 1953 - but the war has never been formally declared over or a peace treaty concluded. Special prayers and efforts are needed for a shared peaceful future on the Korean Peninsula future on this anniversary occasion, say the churches.

An renewed escalation of tensions in the region has recently put the world on edge again. A Joint Ecumenical Peace Message for the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War was publicly delivered on 22 June during a live-streamed event which acknowledged these tensions but described them as evidence of the urgent need for new initiatives for peace.

Co-sponsored by churches and councils of churches around the world, especially from countries that participated in the Korean War, the message
describes the war as an "appallingly destructive conflict".

They are calling for healing wounds for a shared future for the long-divided Korean people.

Sombre anniversary
“On this sombre 70th-anniversary occasion, we, as churches and councils of churches from countries that played a role in the division and conflict on the
Korean Peninsula, join in calling for: An immediate formal declaration of the end of the Korean War."

They are also calling for swift steps towards the adoption of a peace treaty to replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement, as a starting point for further
progress towards the realization of a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

They note that "Seven decades after this war began, it is time to acknowledge that it ended long ago. New challenges to peace and stability in the region
have arisen in the meantime, but we do not believe that the resolution of those challenges will be facilitated by keeping that 70-year-old conflict open."

0n the contrary, we believe that the conditions for pragmatic dialogue and negotiation on current realities on the Peninsula could be greatly enhanced by
recognizing the end of the war."

They urge resumption of dialogue between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK, and between the USA and the DPRK, with the encouragement and
support of other states who were involved in the Korean War.

They call for the normalization of diplomatic relations between the DPRK and the USA. The churches are also calling for the suspension and cancellation
of any further military exercises in the region.

We appeal for the fulfilment of the letter and spirit of all the agreements that had given so much hope of progress towards peace on the Korean Peninsula
一 in particular the Panmunjom Declaration of April 2018, the Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018, and the Singapore Joint Statement of June