Our Partner Church in Korea:
The Korean Methodist Church
President Bishop: YONG-JAI JUN
Ecumenical Relations: SUSAN NAM, Board of Mission
Methodist Building 16F, 64-8 Taepyungro l-Ga, Jung-Ku, Seoul, Korea, 100-101
Tel: 00 82 2 399 4361
Fax: 00 82 2 399 4307
Korea is one of our partner countries and we work with the Korean Methodist Church as well as the ecumenical bodies: National Council of Churches in Korea (in the South) and Korean Christian Federation (in the North). Please pray for the Christians there, especially in the North.
June 2020, This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. The war, which began on June 25, 1950, was halted by the Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953, but the efforts for a Peace Treaty to end the war continue.
The three-year war extracted a heavy toll from the Korean Peninsula. Daily life collapsed, and the country was reduced to rubble. Families were separated without knowing if the others had survived or not. Two million South Korean soldiers and civilians, 3.3 million North Korean soldiers and civilians, 360,000 Chinese, and 140,000 U.S. soldiers were killed or injured in the three-year war.
Our Partner, the National Council of Church in Korea, offers each year a helpful worship resource in Korean and English to mark ‘National Reconciliation Week’. Please join them and their global partners in this quest for peace.
Gracious and Most Holy God,
We praise your name and we come before you as seekers of peace. For too long, we have experienced war and hatred and division. We ask for your help in bringing an end to the 70 years of war that have plagued the Korean Peninsula We know it is not your will that we live through endless war.
O God, we know the solution to peace rests not only with governments but with your people and so we have prayed, preached, demonstrated, campaigned, lobbied, and organized for peace these many years. This terrible war must end. We implore you, we beseech you, to aid us in this sacred quest.
Dear God, we have lived through many difficulties but you have always been faithful to us. You are our rock and fortress. Be with us as we continue our quest for peace. We know you are the living god, our merciful friend.
With your help, it shall be on earth as it is in heaven.
Our friends in the National Council of Churches in Korea have been reflecting on the impact of the pandemic for the Christian Church as well as continuing their campaign for peace, which runs until August 15th. Read their newsletter here. A prayer for Korea from the Methodist Church in Britain, part of the Peace Prayer Movement.
May 2020, The Methodist Church in Britain has for many years been part of the global ecumenical effort to secure peace on the Korean Peninsula. Since its inception, we have also been active members of the Ecumenical Forum on Korea. This has involved advocacy work for a peace treaty in Korea, the UK and other parts of the world, practical relief during famine and meetings to build confidence and seek ways forward. The Republic of Korea has recently acknowledged the contributions made by members of the EFK, and the WCC.
March 2020, In the following WCC link, you can find prayers and stories on the separation, division, reconciliation, peace and hope on the Korean peninsula.
A worship resource for use on the day designated for prayers for peace and reconciliation in Korea, the Sunday before 15 August, is now available on the Church of Scotland website here. This was prepared by the Church of Scotland World Mission Council Asia committee.
We continue to work with our Partners in both parts of Korea: the National Council of Churches in Korea in the South and the Korean Christian Federation in the North. Read more from the July 2019 meeting here.
The Atlanta Statement was sent to the Korean Consulate in Atlanta. It was also sent to the US Department of State (DPRK desk) and other relevant US government offices in Washington and Seoul on 11 Nov 2018 • English version • Korean version
Six International Ecumenical delegates visit North Korea, 07 May 2018. Read more here
“Panmunjom Declaration” The beginning of a new history of reconciliation and peace: A statement from the National Council of Churches (NCCK), 27th April 2018
Today we are deeply moved by the step made towards a new history of reconciliation and peace on the Korean peninsula. The summit which started with the two leaders of Korea crossing the military demarcation line (MDL) has deeply moved the heart of all Koreans and the people in the world. Read the full statement here
Weapons Test: A statement from the National Council of Churches (NCCK):
In the wake of another nuclear weapons test, and the US/South Korea joint military drills where they continue to practice invasions and assassination strikes of North Korea, the NCCK believes that some historical context might help us understand why current strategies of hostility are bound to fail to resolve the conflict. To that end partners in the US helped us create this video. This video is a brief overview of US policy in Korea in 1945 as it occupied the Korean peninsula after the end of WWII. Much of this history is purposely hidden from textbooks in South Korea and the US, as it contradicts most of the "single story" told by the leaders of that time.
Both the US/South Korea drills and the North Korea weapons test threaten the security of the entire region. The NCCK asks all partners to urge their governments to immediately engage in dialogue to decrease tensions and to authentically address the legitimate concerns and fears of each other.
This video provides historical context on the North Korea-US tensions, and may help us understand why current strategies of hostility are bound to fail to resolve the conflict.
Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula, 15th August 2017
On 15th August 2017, the churches in the world will celebrate the "Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula" In addition to the North/South joint prayer text and worship order, I am attaching a personal story of division (and forgiveness). Please share these materials with your constituencies/communities/friends and encourage them to pray for peace in Korea
• 2017 North South/South North Joint Prayer for Peaceful Reunification
• 2017 North South/South North Joint Prayer for Peaceful Reunification (Korean)
• 2017 Sunday Prayer Worship for Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula
An emergency letter to President Moon
This is a letter from our partners in Korea to the President of South Korea which may inform thinking and prayer in the rest of the World Church:
• English version
• Korean version
Our partner church, the United Methodist Church, has issued this analysis and call to prayer through its Church and Society General Secretary, Revd Dr Susan Henry Crowe, that you may find useful.
WCC urges dialogue and engagement - not threats and sanctions - for North Korea - click here
Churches across the world invited to pray for Korean reunification - click here
Churches across the world invited to pray for Korean reunification - click here
Faith and Forgiveness: Seeking Peace in Korea
Dr. David Suh gave a webinar on how his faith challenged his desire for revenge, and led him to become an outspoken advocate for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Watch the video from the webinar here
Dr. Suh was born in what would later become North Korea, under Japanese occupation. In his childhood he was forced to speak Japanese and even change his Korean surname. Despite continuous harassment, his father, a pastor, never stopped teaching the Gospel. Following the war, his father became a well-known Christian leader in the northern-zone. When the Korean war broke out, David's family moved to Pyongyang. After his father's murder at the hands of his countrymen, David moved South and joined the Navy, hoping to one day avenge his father's death. Read his full story here.
Towards Sustainable Peace
'Towards Sustainable Peace in the Korean Peninsula' is a short booklet from the National Council of Churches in Korea which offers a way to end the war between North and South Korea (who have agreed an armistice but not yet a peace treaty) and create a sustainable peace. Read it here.
Here is the Joint North-South Easter Prayer written in cooperation with the National Council of Churches in Korea of the South and the Korean Christian Federation of the North. Click here here to read the prayer.
Watch this video of Susan Nam, from Korea Methodist Church discussing the Prayer Handbook:
Please use the information below to inform your prayers. Stories in Western media often give a distorted view of relations in the regions.
Click here to read the Korean Easter Prayer 2016. A powerful and moving Prayer jointly written by Christians in the North and South.
Click here to read the statement on the atomic test in North Korea which was helpfully released by the churches in the South recently.
Click here to read the joint peace prayer
Click here to read the Pyongyang Appeal issued at a meeting in the North at which Steve Pearce represented the Methodist Church.
Korea Liberation Day - 15 August 2016
This is a joint North-South worship resource to commemorate the anniversary of Korea's liberation and division which is remembered on 15 August.
Click here for more information
UMC hosted July 26 Korea Peace March and Vigil in Washinton D.C.
The July 26 "Korea Peace March and Vigil" was the culmination of a two-day event timed to coincide with the 61st anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement that temporally ended the Korean War on July 27, 1953. It was hosted by the United Methodist Church in the USA in Washington D.C. and the 11 NCCK representatives were participating including Rev. Kim Young Ju, General Secretary of the NCCK.
Around 300 participants marched with pickets shouting "We want Peace Treaty, Peace for Korea Now!" and "End the Korean War" for 12km from Foundry United Methodist Church to the Lafayette Park in front of the White House on 26th of July, and for 1 hour vigil to the President Burak Obama and the United States government.
Bishop Hee Soo Jung, UMC Wisconsin conference, Rev. Jung Ho Kim, Chair of Unification Committee, Rev. Mary Ann Swenson, WCC Vice-president, Rev. Kim Young Ju, NCCK General Secretary, stressed and requested: "61 years of division have been too long, make Peace Treaty right now, and end the Korean War." One of participants, 75 years old, shared his suffering of family separation due to division. This event was closed by praying together with the August 15th common prayer which was jointly prepared by the NCCK and KCF in the North. The World Council of Churches decided to observe the Sunday before 15 August each year (starting with Sunday 10 August 2014) as the "Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula and to use this common prayer.
Bishop Swenson, who also serves as vice moderator of the World Council of Churches, introduced a "Statement on Peace and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula," approved at the WCC Assembly in Busan, South Korea, last year. The statement declared, "We are convinced that it is the right time to begin a new process towards a comprehensive peace treaty that will replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement and secure just and peaceful relations among nations in the region while normalizing relations between North and South, and facilitating Korean reunification."
The day before the march, about 60 people participated in an international ecumenical roundtable held at the historic Foundry church. "We gather to witness the human cost of the unended Korean War, walk and pray together to raise our voice to end the war and establish peace for the people of two Koreas and the world,"
In a keynote address, Christine Ahn, an author, activist and Korea expert (Korea Policy Institute), gave the history and background of the war and the armistice that ended it and suggested steps to improve the future for all Koreans. The Korean War, she explained, though relatively short (1950-1953), was exceptionally bloody. Approximately 10 million Korean families are still separated due to the division of Korea. Nearly 5 million people died in the war, including 40,000 Americans. The temporary "trilateral" armistice that effectively ended the conflict among Communist and non-Communist forces, Ahn said, was signed by China, the United States and North Korea, but South Korea did not sign it. The signing of a peace treaty, expected before the end of that year, never occurred. "Sixty-one years later and we're still waiting," she said.
And the heads of the organizations had visited the White House the day before and met with Sidney Seiler, the Korea Director at the National Security Council, to emphasize the necessity of lessening the conflict and forming peace on the Korean Peninsula. Some other participants met at the same time with Robert King, Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues and shared opinion regarding the necessity of cessation of US's policy against North Korea, stop of all kinds of sanctions to North Korea, withdrawal of military exercise near to the Korean peninsula in order to building peace system on the Korean peninsula.
In the evening the Foundry sanctuary was filled for a viewing of "Memory of Forgotten War," co-produced by Professor Ramsey Lim. The film shows four separated families telling their personal stories of the pains and sorrows they suffer because of family separations.
The United Methodist Church adopted, in its 2012 General Assembly, "4 years plan for peace and reconciliation in the Korean peninsula". According to this resolution, a Peace Conference in Atlanta in May, 2013 was held, and UMC's visit both North and South Korea in 2015 and evaluation on 4 years activities and plan for next step will be expected to process in 2016.