Wednesday, 10. May 2023

Indo-Korean Mission Council Meets in Seoul

Focus on ecumenism and ecology


This year's meeting of the Indo-Korean Mission Council was held in Seoul, South Korea, 19-21 April. The meeting focused on ecumenical cooperation and the integrity of creation in South and East Asia. Members of the body discussed common tasks and stressed the importance of local networks and partnerships. 

The Indo-Korean Missionary Council (IKMC) is an association of several churches in Asia, including four EMS member churches: the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK), the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK), the Church of North India (CNI) and the Church of South India (CSI). The IKMC was established to provide a platform for ecumenical partnerships in South and East Asia. "We believe that mission today is an ecumenical expression of internationalisation, equal participation and equality of all churches," reads the joint final statement. 

Discrimination and inequality based on economic, social, cultural and religious differences are among the major challenges faced by member churches. The threat to religious freedom was also a central theme of the exchange between the churches. Through its work, the IKMC aims to help address these challenges together and bring about positive change in the region. Emphasis is put on local networks and church partnerships. Among other things, the churches agreed that in the future Korean pastors should be integrated into the Indian churches as ecumenical workers - an important step towards equal cooperation in the region. 

“Integrity of Creation", the theme on which the EMS will focus in the coming years, was another important focus of the meeting. In his address, EMS General Secretary Dr Dieter Heidtmann called on IKMC members to take concrete action to protect the environment and combat climate change. In this context, he highlighted the comprehensive sustainability certification of the EMS secretariat in Stuttgart, where all EMS policies are reviewed for their environmental, social and financial sustainability. Heidtmann also presented the "Green Ambassador" campaign, which invites young people aged 14 to 20 to become ambassadors for a more sustainable lifestyle.