Prayer campaign to end 70-year Korean War gains global momentum

Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

As the World Council of Churches (WCC) global fellowship embarks on prayers for peace on the Korean Peninsula from 1 March to 15 August, the world is ready for an era of permanent peace, said Rev. Dr Hong-Jung Lee, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea.

But “in 2019 all the reactions from the US government have impinged upon our sovereignty, as we see all our peace-making attempts blocked,” Lee said. “Furthermore, it has been frustrating that we see both major political parties in the US manipulating the Korean issue merely to gain the upper hand in the midterm elections and the presidential election, which then stifles the progress the two Koreas might have made.”

Lee urged, at this very critical juncture, that US leaders should respect inter-Korean sovereignty.

“I sincerely wish that the global prayer campaign will break through the frozen silence of the present Korean peace process, reawakening the global citizen’s peace consciousness, particularly reflecting on the 70-year long Korean War,” Lee said. “Let us end the Korean War, and establish a peace agreement on the Korean Peninsula in 2020. Peace is the only possible way of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the world.”

The global prayer campaign for peace on the Korean Peninsula will invite hundreds of thousands of people worldwide to say: “We Pray, Peace Now, End the War!”

During the campaign, 70 prayers and stories will be published, corresponding with a commemoration of 70 years since the end of the Korean War. In cooperation with the National Council of Churches in Korea, prayers will be published online each week.

“This year, 2020, marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. Seventy years! Koreans in the North and South have lived in pain and hatred for a long time,” WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said.

“During this period of prayer, churches around the world will hear the heartbreaking stories of those who have gone through the suffering from the division. They will also hear about the people who have already lived out lives of reconciliation and peace beyond the division.”