On 18 November a delegation led by World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit met with the prime minister of the Republic of Korea, Lee Nak-yeon.
Lee received the delegation – comprising Tveit; Dr Sang Chang, WCC president for the Asian region; Peter Prove, director the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs; Marianne Ejdersten, WCC director of Communication; WCC programme executive Rev. Dr Jin Yang Kim; Rev. Dr Lee, Sung-hee, moderator of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK); Rev. Huh Won Bae, chair of NCCK Reconciliation Committee.and Rev. Shin Seung-min, NCCK programme executive – in his executive office in Seoul.
Prime minister Lee Nak-yeon expressed his appreciation for the work of the WCC and the ecumenical movement in promoting democratization, human rights, peace and reconciliation in Korea for more than 50 years. The prime minister affirmed that such religious and civilian exchanges are important in helping to reduce tensions and to promote normalization of relations.
He expressed the hope that the WCC and the NCCK would continue to work for these purposes.
“We and our member churches place much hope in your leadership for a peace among the divided Korean people, and we pray for you as you serve in this high position in this significant time for your nation and for the world,” Tveit told the prime minister.
“Everywhere I go around the world, especially in these times of heightened geopolitical tensions,” remarked Tveit, “I am asked about the situation in the Korean peninsula and about how the WCC and the churches in Korea can do more to help reduce tensions and to promote peace and reconciliation in this region. We have a long history of supporting encounter and dialogue between Christians from both North and South Korea, and we are committed to doing more.”