WCC invites all to support Global Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula

Rev. Prof. Dr Sang Chang among other WCC Central Committee members during the prayer service in the chapel of the Ecumenical centre in Geneva. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

The World Council of Churches invites all people of good will to observe a Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula on 11 August.

Each year, Christians are invited to join in a prayer for peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Prepared by the National Council of Churches in Korea and the Korean Christian Federation, the prayer is traditionally used on the Sunday before 15 August every year.

The 15th of August, celebrated as Liberation Day in both North and South Korea, marks the date in 1945 when Korea won independence from Japanese colonial oppression, yet ironically it also was the day when the peninsula was divided into two countries.

The Korean Christian Federation Central Committee (North Korea) and the National Council of Churches in Korea (South Korea) have composed their annual joint prayer for peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula for 2019.

Churches are encouraged to translate this prayer into their national languages and share it with their congregations.

“Lord, we were once one country,” reads the prayer. “We were one 100 years ago when we cried out for Korean independence against the tyranny of Japanese imperialism.”

The prayer expresses the wish that the Korean Peninsula will become one again. “Lord, we beseech you,” reads the prayer. “Let us never again attempt war on this land, and let us establish our own permanent and peaceful regime that no foreign powers can avail.”

The prayer urges people to keep their hearts, wills, and strength united. “Let us remind ourselves that we must carve out our own destiny,” the prayer implores. “Lord, make us one.”

Together, people on the Korean Peninsula must carve out our own destiny, the prayer reflects. “Lord, hear the prayers of the beloved Christians throughout the world for peace and prosperity,” the text reads. “Let us not shirk our obligation or delay for any reason.”

The National Council of Churches in Korea will hold a joint worship service at the Seoul Bogum Church, as well as regional services in Suwon, Daejon, Busan, Jeonju, and other places. In addition, music festivals and exhibitions will be held.

On 15 August – Liberation Day –  the National Council of Churches in Korea will hold a joint event with a civilian organization, the 6.15 Committee. People will gather at Kwanwamoon Square to make “a peace chain” that will encircle the US and Japan embassies nearby.

WCC, oikoumene.org