Partnership Team Calls for Prayers for Peace for Korea
The following was submitted by Ginny McDaniel on behalf of the CTUCC Korean Partnership:
In Korea, August 15th is celebrated as Liberation Day, the date of Korea’s Liberation from Japanese colonization at the end of World War II. It’s a date marked by both South Korea and North Korea, as many regard the two states as one country whose shared history and future are but momentarily, if tragically, divided by the circumstances of war and politics.
The decades following Korea's liberation in 1945 have been shaped by tragedy and conflict. After World War II the Korean Peninsula was immediately split into two by the U.S. and USSR. The division precipitated the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, a conflict which resulted in the death of 2.5 million soldiers (U.S., Chinese, North and South Korean). In addition 3.5 million civilians were killed, while another 3 million became refugees and thousands of families were separated by the demarcation of North and South Korea along the 38th parallel.
A final peace treaty has never been reached to bring closure to the Korean War, despite the end of the Cold War and 60 years of ceasefire. The Korean land and people remain divided, despite official support for reunification by North Korea, South Korea, and the U.S.
In 2015, on the 70th Anniversary of Korea’s liberation, the United Church of Christ passed a resolution “A Call for Peace, Justice and Reunification in the Korean Peninsula.” In it the UCC committed to push the “U.S. government and international community [to] commence a new process of peace-building across the Korean peninsula, that includes a commitment by all parties to replace the Armistice Agreement of 1953 with a permanent peace treaty, finally bringing an end to the state of war; and a mutual commitment to end provocative military exercises on the peninsula, to reduce military expenditures, and to eliminate nuclear weapons on the peninsula, establishing a model for peace and demilitarization in Northeast Asia[.]”
We invite all churches of the Connecticut Conference to offer prayers for peace on August 13 or 20. Liturgical resources from the World Council of Churches are available here.
Learn more about the Conference's partnership with theKyung-Ki Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in South Korea.
The Rev. Dr. Virginia McDaniel is Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church of Granby