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70th Anniversary Greetings from the National Council of Churches in Korea

Greetings to the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches from the general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the WCC

20 June 2018

The NCCK GS’ Greetings at the WCC 70th Anniversary Central Committee in Geneva

Dear faithful members of the Central Committee of the WCC and ecumenical friends, I sincerely congratulate you on the 70th anniversary of the WCC.

This time I have come to you from the newly emerging Korean Peninsula where the people are joyfully cultivating the Spring of Peace out of the frozen land of division and cold war!

Using this opportunity I want to express my heart-felt thanks to all of you here under the umbrella of the WCC and to the great cloud of witnesses in the past years who have sacrificially engaged in the ecumenical accompaniment process for the democratization and peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula which are two sides of the same coin in the Korean context.

Above all of this, my fundamental and faithful greetings of solidarity must be extended to the beloved leaders of the Korean Christian Federation, the late Rev. Kang Yang-Ug, the late Rev. Kang Young-Sub, and Rev. Kang Myung-Chol and their coworkers who have devoted themselves to the success of the historical presence of the North Korean churches in a socialist context, overcoming the sufferings arising out of division and cold war with the unshakable belief in ultimate peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean nation.

This 70-year history of the WCC since 1948 has been closely intermingled with the historical process of the ecumenical accompaniment with the two divided Koreas also established in 1948.

This role has been significant throughout the Tozanso Process since 1984, particularly with the first North-South Korean Christian encounter at the Glion meeting in 1986, which contributed in binding the KCF and the NCCK together as an inseparable body of Jesus Christ in spite of all the differences and difficulties and in raising the international status of the KCF so that the world Christianity may hear the North Korean people’s crying for liberation and peace.

Now is the time for us to participate in the newly developing Panmunjom Process led by the self-determination of inter-Korean initiatives from the NCCK and the KCF along with a Eucharistic solidarity of the global ecumenical movement led by the WCC.

As the frontiers of the ecumenical movement determined to stay together by establishing the WCC in spite of all the diversities in a post-World War II context, we the NCCK and the KCF will dream together and act together along with the member churches of the WCC in order to construct a healed, reconciled and united Korean Peninsula and a peacefully coexisting North East Asian Oikoumene.

Believing in no other way than peace, we the NCCK and the KCF desperately implore you to maintain your compassionate Eucharistic solidarity by accompanying us further until the time we successfully break the chain of the cold war-division system.

Being filled with hope and new purpose in realizing Ezekiel’s vision of uniting as one nation, we pray, “Oh, Living God, renew and transform the people of the Korean Peninsula from victims of division and cold war into a new creation of the Jubilee in which the truth reigns. Kyrie eleison! Amen!”

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