At a Peace Convocation on 20 June, people holding blue umbrellas as a symbol of unity prayed, walked and called for peace together.
The convocation, coordinated by the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, commemorated 70 years since the start of the Korean War. Held at the White Horse Hill Memorial in Cholwon, the observance took place on one of the most ferocious battlefields of the Korean War.
In a peace message read aloud, participants prayed: “Here we pray that God may hear the cry of the victims’ blood from the ground and grant them peace,” adding, “We pray for God’s grace that we may be strengthened to reflect our path of the past and heal our wounds of the war.”
In a message to the convocation, WCC interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca wished both grace and peace to all those near and far who were supporting the peacemakers.
“In this important moment for witness for peace, we are committed and determined to pursue the Christian calling to be peacemakers, the vision of peaceful coexistence between North and South, and ultimately the reunification of the long-divided Korean people,” wrote Sauca. “We look forward to continuing this pilgrimage of justice and peace with you.”
Rev. Dr Jae Cheon Lee, general secretary of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, prayed for the countless young souls who fought to death on the site of the memorial. “Here we pray that God may hear the cry of the victims’ blood from the ground and grant them eternal peace,” said Lee. “We call upon the global Christian communities and friends to stand with us here in the movement toward a peaceful world.”
Rev. Soonjong Youg, moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, spoke of the wounds of the Korean War, wounds that keep the Korean Peninsula from moving toward peace and reunification.
“Although there were two historic summits between the North and the United States of America, the Korean Peninsula still lies in uncertainty,” said Youg. “It is time for all of us to pray. It is a crisis of reconciliation and peace.”
He urged all to ensure war will never happen again on the Korean Peninsula. “Peace is our only option,” he said. “We have to give all our strength, and pray with all our heart that God may give us peace. We have to do everything to open a new age of peace.”
Youg made a fervent call for prayers across the world. “I call for your commitment toward courageous steps for peace and reunification in the face of foreign interference,” he said. “As sincere Christians, let us embrace the scars of this nation, caused by the division, that those may be healed.”