Pilgrims in Seoul pray for peace and reconciliation. Photo: Gregoire de Fombelle/WCC

Pilgrims in Seoul pray for peace and reconciliation. Photo: Gregoire de Fombelle/WCC

In a mood of hope people came together yesterday in churches all over the world to worship and pray for peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

In Seoul Gospel Church, local worshipers in the South Korean capital were accompanied by a group of around 80 young pilgrims from all continents. The group is about to finish a six-day pilgrimage of the country under the theme ”Walking with Peace, Reclaiming Hope”, organized by the Ecumenical Youth Council of Korea in cooperation with its parent body, the National Council of Churches in Korea.

It became a special Sunday afternoon filled with prayers, music and hopes for an end of the now 74-year long division of the two Koreas. It was after World War 2, in 1945, that the country was divided along the 38th parallel. In 1953, at the end of the Korean War, an armistice agreement was signed establishing a demilitarized zone along that same parallel.

In a church filled to the last seat, Rev. Lee Yang Hoo from Korea Evangelical Church led a sermon including a special prayer composed jointly by the Korean Christian Federation Central Committee (North Korea) and the National Council of Churches in Korea (South Korea).

Jess Kim, a pilgrim of Korean descent from the Christian Church - Disciples of Christ, in  Los Angeles, USA, expressed great debt and gratitude to all the leaders and the people in the church room who have been involved in a continuous fight for reconciliation and peace.

”It was a very inspiring moment in the church yesterday and I’m honoured to have been part of that. I grew up in a family with a passion for reconciliation, so this is very important to me”, she says.

The global prayer for peace and reconciliation in the Korean Peninsula always takes place on the Sunday before 15 August, which marks the date when North- and South Korea was separated from one another by a demilitarized zone in 1953. On the same date in 1945, Korea won independence from 35 years of Japanese colonization.

"A journey through division and hope" - WCC news release 11 August 2019

Learn more about the Sunday of Prayer for Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula

More information about the ECHOS Commission meeting 2019

WCC member churches in Korea