Hundreds of Christians gathered this afternoon around the Statue of Peace in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in front of the Japanese embassy, to celebrate Liberation Day.
They displayed photos of butterflies and flowers as a symbol of the comfort to women who were sexual slaves during the Japanese occupation.
Standing in the rain, they prayed together for peaceful relations with Japan, and against the economic sanctions currently harming relations between the two countries.
After the prayer, various church and ecumenical Korean leaders led a walk as they sang a song for the reconciliation and reunification of Korea.
Finally, they joined in Gwanghwamun Square, in front the Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace, where thousands of civil society organisations were peacefully protesting sanctions and calling for peace.
The Liberation day in Korea marks the country’s liberation in 1945 from 35 years of Japanese colonial rule. 15 August is also the day in 1953 when Korea was divided into two countries.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a longtime advocate for peace and reunification of the two Koreas. Last week member churches representing 20 countries participated in a pilgrimage walk along the demilitarized zone in solidarity with the Korean peoples.