23. 07. 2013 | News, Archive 2013

EMS calls for intercession and petition for peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula

"Commitment to peace in Korea is an important task of the ecumenical movement"

60 years ago, on 27 July 1953, the armistice agreement was signed that brought an end to the devastating war in Korea. However, no peace treaty has been made down to the present day.

On the occasion of this anniversary the International Mission Council of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) has called on the churches to pray for peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula during worship services on 28 July and to participate in the signature campaign for a peace treaty. The leading body of EMS made this decision at its last meeting. The petition, which was initiated by the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), can be signed online (Signature Campaign peacetogether); alternatively signatures can be collected at church services or other events. 

"Peace and justice, reconciliation and human rights are closely connected in Korea," says Ulrike Schmidt-Hesse, who is Head of Mission and Partnership at EMS and has been engaged in co-operation with Korea for many years. "The General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) will be held in Korea in a few months. I understand its theme ‘God of life, lead us to justice and peace’ as a prayer for Korea. The EMS supports the NCCK and its member churches in Korea in their endeavours to ensure that in Busan the international ecumenical movement makes a strong plea for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula."

The EMS also participates in the project of a "Pilgrimage for peace in Korea." Starting on 7 October the "Peace Train" will travel from Berlin via Moscow, Beijing and hopefully also Pyongyang in North Korea to Busan in South Korea, arriving at the start of the WCC Assembly, which lasts from 30 October to 8 November 2013. The peace journey will begin on 7 October at 6 p.m. with a worship service at the Brandenburg Gate.

For Lutz Drescher, who lived for a long time in South Korea as an ecumenical co-worker and has visited North Korea several times, the commitment of the EMS Fellowship and especially the German churches is very important for a lasting peace in Korea: "The churches of a country which has itself experienced division and reunification have a historic obligation to support the people on the Korean peninsula. The division of the world into East and West and the Cold War, which held the world in thrall for decades, will not be at an end until the division of Korea has been overcome."

Prayers for peace on the Korean peninsula for the anniversary of the armistice agreement are to be found attached: "Prayers for peace on the Korean peninsula."

Further prayers for peace and reconciliation in Korea as well as songs, devotions and information are available in the German language worship service materials of the EKD for the WCC Assembly, which were drafted with the help of EMS. They can be ordered from the EKD (email: gudrun.marhenke@ekd.de, Tel: 0511/2796-132) and are also available online: www.busan2013.de.

For more information:

Lutz Drescher, EMS Liaison Officer for East Asia and India, +49 711 6367830,