Korean churches seek end to war

First published on: 7th February 2022

Campaigning for a formal peace in Korea - 70 years on

USPG has added its voice to a campaign to formally end the Korean war, 70 years after the conflict broke out. Although an armistice was agreed in 1953, the war has never officially ended.

Now, as part of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, USPG met the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) to discuss the Korea Peace Appeal, a civil society campaign to formally end the war by gathering 100 million signatures from across the world. The appeal is running from 2020 to 2023, dates marking the 70th anniversaries of the outbreak of fighting and the armistice respectively.

Rev’d Lee Hong-jung, NCCK General Secretary, spoke of the importance of the campaign. ‘We need an agreement to end the war before we can ever truly have peace,’ he said. ‘Our aim is for a peaceful peninsula made up of a confederation between North and South Korea.’

Joined by members of the Church of Scotland, the United Reformed Church, the Methodist Church and Pax Christi Scotland, representatives from USPG heard how much the campaign had grown since it began.

Ms Hwang Soo-yung, Director of the Korea Peace Appeal, said, ‘Over 370 Korean organisations and 70 international organisations are involved in the appeal and we have had around 112,000 signatures. We have opened 120 ‘peace shops’, sent letters to President Joe Biden and embassies in Korea, and we frequently go out on the streets of Seoul to gather signatures.’

Churches across the UK have committed to working together to launch the campaign in Britain and Ireland so look out for how you can get involved. You can read more about the NCCK’s role in the Korea Peace Appeal here.

Korean prayer ribbons (Credit: Sandy Sneddon)