Ground-breaking visit to North Korea

Steve Pearce, Partnership Coordinator for Asia-Pacific, recently visited church leaders in North Korea.

He travelled in his capacity as a member of the Ecumenical Forum on Korea with International Director Peter Prove and Asia Secretary Dong Sung Kim of the World Council of Churches. As you may imagine this was something of a ground-breaking visit, both for the global church and also for the Methodist Church in Britain, as we seek to take new initiatives in our relationships.

Earlier in the year, they managed to arrange a consultation in Geneva, attended by three leaders of the Korean Christian Federation of North Korea, at which South Korean and other church leaders from Europe and North America were present. It was a sometimes tense affair, but successful overall.

Offering aid is a delicate and very sensitive exercise, but we have in recent years been able to send food (via China) and support food production projects, thus giving expression to our solidarity and our partnership, but going beyond that has been difficult, until now. We hope that a larger visit can be organised in spring next year, as well as a large consultation in the region to include church representatives from both North and South. Increasing contact could be our route to reconciliation as well as deeper partnership.

Please click here to read an initial short report on Steve's visit to North Korea.

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