05.06.19 | News, Three questions for

Three questions for...

...Dr. Sung Kook PARK, Executive Secretary for Partnership and Ecumenism of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea.

Dr. Sung Kook PARK of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (Foto: EMS/Conzelmann)

Sung Kook PARK (49) grew up in Germany and came to Korea only at the age of 15. His father Jong-wha PARK was a pastor in Germany. Later he himself studied Missionary Science in Hamburg. Today, he lives with his family in Seoul. As Executive Secretary for Partnership and Ecumenism, he has a leading position in the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK).

How do you perceive the relations of the PROK with the member churches of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity?

The relationships have changed; they have become much more cooperative. After all, our partnership with EMS has existed for 45 years now.

Do you have an example for this development?

Even two (laughs). We are currently in close contact with the Moravian Church of South Africa. The Elim Home for children with disabilities is in need of bed linen. We are in the process of organizing and sending them there. This is what Soloman Paul Benjamin, Liasion Secretary East Asia and India for the EMS, has mediated. We are also trying to set up a volunteer programme so that young people from South Africa can visit Korea and vice versa.

Which topics do you currently focus on?

On the one hand, Peace and Reconciliation Work. In April, for example, 7000 church members of the PROK supported a human chain in the demilitarized zone along the North Korean border, in which about 50,000 people participated. On the other hand, the work with children and young people. For example, the booklet “DIVERSITY – We are Children of the World” of the EMS is of great help. Now, it is used in 300 congregations of our church. It encourages an open-mindedness in dealing with people of all kind of differences. If the church educates its children in this spirit, we are looking to a bright future.