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Statement on the Fourth Roundtable for Peace on the Korean Peninsula

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isa 52:7)

Context and background

In alignment with the spirit of the Tozanso process and Glion consultation, Methodist churches worldwide have maintained a steadfast commitment to fostering peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula. During the 21st World Methodist Conference on September 1, 2016, representatives from the KMC, UMC, and WMC convened to reaffirm their dedication and collaboratively address the ongoing conflict on the Korean Peninsula. The second session of the Roundtable coincided with the launch of GBGM’s Asia regional office in Seoul on March 25, 2017. This gathering reiterated the significance of peacebuilding on the Korean Peninsula and humanitarian cooperation, both integral facets of the church mission’s objectives. The third Roundtable was convened by the UMC-GBGM in Atlanta on November 9-11, 2018. Its primary focus was to enhance the Methodist church’s role as a mediator concerning the normalization of DPRK‐USA relations and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. This responsibility was undertaken in conjunction with the church’s enduring advocacy for global denuclearization, as articulated in the Atlanta Statement.

The fourth KMC-UMC-WMC Roundtable, hosted by the KMC on August 28-29, 2023, focused on enhancing the Methodist church’s contribution to the peacebuilding process in the region. Given that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean Armistice agreement, the Roundtable also reemphasized the importance of dialogue, diplomatic engagement, and peaceful process, supporting the global Korea Peace Appeal, promoted by the churches in Korea and the Korea Peace Action, co-convened by UMC-GBGM-KMC-GBM along with numerous civil organizations.

In accordance with the 88 Declaration, in prayer, we recognize the presence of hatred, division, and the lingering Korean War as violations against our Lord Jesus Christ’s New Commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). Through our prayers, we humbly ask God to empower us with the courage to testify to the vision of a bountiful life for all within the new heaven and earth, where the essence of shalom prevails. Moreover, we understand our divine calling to engage in the ministry of reconciliation, a manifestation of Christ’s boundless love (2 Cor 5:14), and thus, as Christians, we are tasked to serve as ambassadors of reconciliation in Christ.

We, therefore, commit ourselves to:

Calls to action

Pray with the churches of Korea on the Sunday before August 15, observed as the “Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification on the Korean Peninsula.”

Urge Methodist churches worldwide and ecumenical partners to offer their advocacy, support and solidarity for Korean churches and Korean diaspora in their pursuit of lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and relationships.

Encourage the KMC-UMC-WMC to foster young people and women leadership who can work for peace, promote disarmament, and denounce militarization, ensuring that young people and women have an equal and meaningful role in the peace process.

Recommend the Methodist churches worldwide to organize peace pilgrimages, jointly coordinated by the KMC-UMC-WMC, serving as both peacemakers and bridge builders. This group affirms the 22nd WMC in Gothenburg, Sweden, from August 13 to 18, 2024 as a space  for further engagement for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Invite Methodist churches worldwide to engage in international cooperation to improve the quality of human rights and seek to provide humanitarian aid in the DPRK.

Adopted by consensus

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