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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Presbyterian World Mission regional liaison: ‘We can’t wait for peace any longer’


The regional liaison for East Asia asks Presbyterians to learn more about the Korea Peace Appeal

August 24, 2023

Korean peace activists gather after a Peace Appeal campaign news conference. (Contributed photo)

I still can see clearly in my mind’s eye the writing printed on the spine of a book that was on the shelf of my family’s bookcase in our humble rented house in Los Angeles. In Korean script, it read: “Why We Can’t Wait,” written by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

There are millions and millions of people around the world who can’t wait any longer because their suffering has been going on far too long. Among them are the people of the Korean peninsula and Koreans of diasporic communities around the world. They cannot wait for the Korean War to end.

On July 27, 1953, the open hostilities of the so-called “Korean War” came to an end with an armistice agreement signed by the United States as the leader of the United Nations Command, the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. That armistice agreement stated that all signatories would gather again three months later to begin the process to formally end the war, but that never came to pass. Three months have extended to 69 years, and in the meantime, Koreans on both sides of the division have suffered all kinds of repercussions of a forever state of war.

Of the 100 million Koreans who were separated from their family members on the other side of the division, most of them have passed away without ever having had a chance to see their loved ones. As the psalmist David cried out to God for deliverance from his enemies by lamenting, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1a), Koreans cry out, “How long?”

On the 67th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement in 2020, Koreans launched a global campaign called the Korea Peace Appeal, which is an outcry that simply says, “We can’t wait for peace any longer.” The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea and the National Council of Churches in Korea, both strong partners of the PC(USA), have joined other religious orders, civil society organizations and over 70 international organizations, including the Presbyterian Peace Network for Korea, in the campaign. The campaign calls on governments involved in the ongoing conflict on the Korean Peninsula to immediately cease all hostile actions and return to solving the conflict through dialogue and mutual trust-building.

At the 225th General Assembly in 2022, the PC(USA) voted affirmatively to join in this effort. You can learn more about this action by going to the PC(USA)’s Korea Peace Appeal webpage here.

Read a statement from the World Council of Churches on the 70th anniversary of the Korean war armistice agreement here.

Unzu Lee is World Mission’s regional liaison for East Asia.

Today’s Focus: Korea Peace Appeal

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Jim Kirk, Associate, Disaster Response USA, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Mike Kirk, Director & General Counsel, Legal Services, Administrative Services Group (A Corp)

Let us pray

Gracious Lord, sustain and nurture us that we may have a deep and vital faith. Through Christ we pray. Amen.