RCH in Solidarity with Korean Christians

2015. február 05., csütörtök

The Reformed Church in Hungary fully supports the efforts for peace and reunification of the Korean National Council of Churches as it addresses US President Obama.

Rev. Dr Kim Young Ju, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) addressed the sister churches around the world asking them for prayer and support as Korean Churches strive for reconciliation and reunification on the Korean Peninsula. The NCCK, which also includes RCH’s two partner churches in the country, the Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK) and the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea (PROK), issued a call on February 4 which RCH answered positively. RCH foresees advocacy actions as well as donations supporting NCCK’s humanitarian projects in North-Korea.    

“Presently, there are so many issues of concern in the world.  We grieve over war in Syria and Iraq and Ukraine, about governments rushing to pass laws about terrorism and committing ever greater funds to militarism, about racism in our societies, about poverty increasing.  Daily we have so many things to pray about, for repentance and new paths to walk” – starts the letter which also informs partners about issues of present concerns for support and comfort.

NCCK has recently sent a letter to the President Park Geun Hye, asking that she lift the sanctions against North Korea (called the May 24 Measures) which prevent humanitarian aid from going into North Korea to bring relief to the many there who are hungry and sick. Each year between Christmas and the Lunar New Year celebration the NCCK collects money for food aid to assist their North Korean brothers and sisters who are in distress. Therefore this letter is to urge President Park to at least open the border to humanitarian aid and to allow family reunions to take place. 

Another letter was sent to President Obama of the United States urging him to give up his isolationist policy toward North Korea, and instead focus on a policy of engagement, as the US has just done with Cuba. The Korean Christians, celebrating this year the 70th anniversary of Korean independence, are desperately praying that this year must be the historical momentum for ending the division and opening a new era of reconciliation and co-prosperity for South and North Korea. “We firmly believe that peace and stability in the Korean peninsula will be a seed for bringing peace and stability to East Asia as well as to the entire world.” – says the letter to Obama. NCCK urges the American President to apply the “Cuba model” in the case of North Korea, and claims that the US foreign policy is moving in the opposite direction as it intensifies sanctions against Pyungyang. “As you are well aware, the decade-long sanctions have devastated the economic basis in North Korea, aggravating pain among the North Korean people. … In short, the isolation policy towards North Korea has been futile and even counterproductive as it has been a great obstacle to peace and stability in the Korean peninsula.” – ends the open letter posted also on the Council of Churches website.

Korean Churches also asks the global Christian family to use the prayer they formulated for the Ash Wednesday services. NCCK also shared a story of a divided family told by a former officer of the Human Rights department of the Council.


On this Ash Wednesday, as we consider the ashes of repentance, the National Council of Churches in Korea asks you to join your prayers to theirs for reconciliation between North and South Korea.

People still, after all these many years, live with the pain of separation. Our government will not allow us to send rice and flour to our starving northern brothers and sisters. 

Lord, forgive the barriers we have erected against each other and give us the will and show us the way to peace. We pray for those who suffer, and ask for them comfort and relief. Let the ashes of death and fear nourish a glad rebirth.

In Jesus' name we pray - Jesus who set his face steadfastly toward Jerusalem where he would walk through death to reconcile us to each other and to God.  Amen


Ash Wednesday Prayer, Feb. 18, 2015


Find NCCK’s letters in download section (above to the right)


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Photos: Peter Williams/WCC

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