Act for peace on the Korean Peninsula – sign the petition asking the U.S. government to enter negotiations for a peace treaty.
On July 27, 1953, the guns fell silent on the Korean peninsula. An armistice brought three years of war to an end. However, a peace treaty has never replaced this cease fire.
Tensions remain between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. At times tensions heighten. Periodically they boil over into violent clashes. The continuing conflict diverts precious resources from the welfare of the people on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone.
The United States holds a special responsibility for a peaceful resolution of the conflict as it occupied the southern part of the peninsula in 1945 and signed the armistice in 1953. The United States maintains a military presence in the Republic of Korea. Joint military exercises fuel the tension with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Churches in the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korean, the United States, and around the world have joined a campaign to call President Obama and Congress to enter negotiations now for a Korean peace treaty, without conditions, to replace the armistice agreement.
The Korean Peninsula has known separation and conflict since 1945. It is time, it is past time, for peace for Korea.
Sign the petition asking the U.S. government to enter negotiations for a peace treaty. Invite your friends to join you. Let’s give peace a chance.
From my friends Kurt Esslinger and Hyeyoung Lee comes an opportunity to pray and witness for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Hyeyoung and Kurt's Korean Adventure
This coming August 15th, 2015 will mark 70 years since Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial control as well as Korea’s division into two zones based on the decision of US and Soviet Union officials (with Koreans conspicuously absent). Thus began a cycle of conflict and violence that Korea has yet to escape. Christians in South Korea first learned that Christians still lived in the open North despite severe restrictions on the practice of their faith. South and North Christians met face to face for the first time in 1988, despite it being illegal with participants risking arrest upon return to the South. Since then, South Koreans and Christians of the world helped convince the North to give Christians some breathing room to worship and practice in public, although full freedom to practice is still restricted. Since 1988, the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK – South) and the Korean…
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My friends Hyeyoung Lee and Kurt Esslinger serve as the Young Adult Volunteer coordinators in Daejeon, Republic of Korea for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). They offer this prayer for PC(USA) members to use during the season of prayer called for by the statement on the Peace of the Korean Peninsula. It is posted here with their permission.
God of the universe, God of the nations,
The people of the Korean Peninsula are crying out,
They no longer wish to live in the shadow of war,
They no longer wish to have resources diverted from life toward death,
They no longer wish to live in fear of the next possible misjudgment in calculation and rhetoric,
They yearn for healing and truth,
You call us to be a people of light, of life, and of peace,
But we have stood silent as our country perpetuates the machinations of death, darkness, and war.
How long, O Lord, must the Korean people live in a state of war?
We confess that we stood by and watched as we split an unwilling country into two,
We confess that those we voted into office ignored the context of a people tired of colonization,
We confess that our military has taken advantage of Korean gratitude,
We confess that our SOFA agreement denies justice to all those harmed by our representatives,
We confess that military presence comes hand in hand with the presence of brothels and sex trade,
We confess that we would much rather pretend this is “their problem,”
We confess that we believe we have no responsibility,
We confess that we hope to continue a policy of isolation despite its ineffectiveness,
We confess that we find it easier to continue the tired old song of hostility than to boldly move toward peace,
Help lead us into a future with the possibility of life,
A future where tools of death are laid down and the call of life,
Rise up a passion for justice, for peace, and for advocacy in your children,
Give our leaders the creativity to find new effective steps toward peace,
Give us the will to reunite families,
Help us lift up the voices of peace within the Korean Peninsula,
Gracious God of forgiveness and healing,
May we be transformed into effective agents
in partnership with the people of Korea
in making your Heavenly Commonwealth of Peace a reality on this planet.
May it be so.
See you along the Trail.