Participants discussed the present context on the Korean Peninsula, and shared updates from their respective activities. They also considered ways of supporting and participating in the Korea Peace Appeal campaign, which advocates for an end to the Korean War and replacing the 1953 Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty. Next year, 2023, will mark the 70th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement which suspended hostilities in the Korean War.
In a message to the meeting, WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca extended encouragement and support for the forum’s faithful commitment and efforts for peace, reconciliation, and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, especially at a time when peace talks have stalled and military tensions in the region have increased.
“This year 2022 marks the 69th anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War: 69 years of uneasy truce between the two sides is enough!” said Sauca.
Rev. Dr Lee Hong-Jung, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea, lamented that imagination for peace has retrogressed.
“The Korean War has become a symbol of anti-peace and a crucial obstacle on the way to the future of peace, entrenching the division system of the Korean Peninsula and driving the Korean Peninsula into the quagmire of the world military industrial complex,” said Rev. Lee. “For making peace, we Christians do not have weapons of war, but we do have prayer.”
Rev. Lee urged the development of a civilian alliance of peace diplomacy that can analyze anti-peace realities, advocate for policy changes, and lobby for peace. “In this course, we may provide various peace platforms for young generations both in North and South Korea to meet together in order to envision a desirable common future of the Korean Peninsula,” said Lee.
“The main subjects of peace-building are us, ‘we the people’’ who live on the democratic values of sovereignty resting with people,” said Lee.
The Korean Christian Federation was unable to attend the meeting, but sent a message of warm congratulations to the WCC 11th Assembly. “We are convinced that WCC will, just as before, continue to extend wholehearted support and firm solidarity to the righteous struggle of the Korean people to bring earlier the independent and peaceful reunification of Korea,” reads the message.
Participants of the informal forum meeting expressed their regret over the absence of a delegation from the Korean Christian Federation. They also affirmed that they will work for implementation of the call of the statement issued by the WCC 11th Assembly, "The Things That Make For Peace: Moving the World to Reconciliation and Unity,” which "urges WCC member churches and partners to actively support and accompany the Korean churches in their advocacy by carrying forward the heritage of the Busan Assembly affirmed by the Statement on Peace and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula."