Religions for Peace (RfP) International joins its national affiliates, the Korean Conference of Religions for Peace (KCRP- South Korea), and the Korean Council of Religionists (KCR-North Korea) in calling for shared security and shared well-being for all peoples on the Korean Peninsula.
The religious communities in South and North Korea have maintained contact, engaged in dialogue and built trust for over 25 years, even during challenging political and security situations. KCRP and KCR have been supported in their confidence building work by the solidarity of RfP’s other national inter-religious councils around the world and particularly in the region, including the China Committee on Religion and Peace (CCRP) and RfP Japan.
Religions for Peace knows from long experience that the Peoples in North and South Korea long for Peace, shared security and shared well-being. This was symbolized in 2013 when North and South Korean religious leaders held hands in front of over 700 applauding senior religions leaders from over 140 countries at the Religions for Peace 9th World Assembly in Vienna, Austria.
In solidarity with religious leaders in KCRP and KCR, RfP International respectfully urges the political leaders of North and South Korea to take bold steps to build Peace on the Korean Peninsula. Religions for Peace also pledges its principled solidarity in the efforts of the Korean Peoples to build shared Peace.
Dr. William F. Vendley
23 April 2018
“Spring is coming.”
The Korea Conference of Religions for Peace (KCRP) was founded in 1986 and has participating members from seven religions. The purpose of KCRP is to foster peace and stability in the Korean peninsula through interfaith cooperation, and it has gained the strong support of religious leaders all across Asia and beyond. Peace in the Korean peninsula is not only our dream, but also our duty to realize.
Since the 2018 Winter Olympics, we have witnessed positive signs of peace in the region, which we hope will blossom like flowers do in the Spring. The upcoming inter-Korean summit on April 27 and the North Korea- United States summit that is expected to be held in May will be remembered as important watershed moments in the history of mankind.
It was only a few decades ago that the world was divided into two in the name of the Cold War. Progress for humanity came to a temporary halt as military competition and confrontation precluded a world of peace and harmony. The last thawing left from the Cold War is the barrier between South and North Korea. When the warmth of mutual dialogue and understanding melts down this barrier, the time will soon come when all the people of the world can be inspired to make efforts to learn to live together.
We call on our government to fully carry out its obligations, not only as a mediator but also as a state directly involved in the matter.
We call on the North Korean government to use this perfect opportunity to put an end to division and break the fetters that have limited and restrained this land for over seventy years. We sincerely hope North Korea will pave the way for the Korean people to live together.
We call on the US government to support the efforts of South and North Korea, and to actively engage in the summit with North Korea as a cornerstone for global peace. The US is a core country that can bring peace to the Korean peninsula.
We call on the Chinese, Russian, and Japanese governments to support the upcoming summits in April and May and all the steps for peace in the future, so that the Korean peninsula, once an arena for rivalry between superpowers, can turn into a land of peace and dialogue.
KCRP looks forward to the arrival of Spring in the Korean peninsula. Spring will bring peace not only in the Korean peninsula but all across the world to all mankind. The seven religions in Korea pray with the deepest earnestness and sincerity for a Spring of peace.
Korean Conference of Religions for Peace (KCRP)
Most. Rev. Archbishop Kim Hee-joong, President of the Committee for Promoting Christian Unity & Interreligious Dialogue, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, Catholic Church
Rev. Dr. Lee Hong-jung, General Secretary of The National Council of Churches in Korea, Protestant Church
Ven. Seol Jeong, President, The Jogye Order, Buddhism
Rev. Han Eun-sook, Director-General, Won-Buddhism
Mr. Kim Young-geun, President of Sung Kyun Kwan, Confucianism
Dr. Lee Jung-hee, Supreme Leader, Chondogyo
Mr. Park Woo-gyun, President, The Association for Korean Native Religions