Apr. 10, 2020

Joint Easter prayer published by churches on Korean Peninsula

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

09 April 2020

A "2020 Joint Easter Prayer of North-South Korea" has been published with a call for Christians and all people of good will around the world to pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The prayer was crafted by the National Council of Churches in Korea.

“With compassion for those suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we reflect the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ for forgiveness, reconciliation and abundant life,” said Rev. Dr Hong-Jung Lee, general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Korea. “We desire that the COVID-19 crisis will create a suitable opportunity to reopen the North and South peace cooperation for global people’s security for life by producing masks, disinfection equipment and testing kits for the coronavirus in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.”

The prayer thanks God for the good news of the resurrection. “As you have prepared for spring during a long winter season, we ask you to grant us a new era of peace on the Korean Peninsula,” reads the prayer.

The prayer asks God to transform the Korean Peninsula from a place of conflict to a place of peace. "God of mercy, we live in a world filled with pain and all the tears,” reads the prayer. "The pain is aggravated by a mixture of natural and man-made disasters, including wars, hunger, climate change, and epidemics.”

Asking God’s forgiveness, the prayer also notes that it has been 70 years since the Korean War broke out. "As we experienced the wounds of the terrible war, we ask you to bring an official end to the Korean War,” the prayer implores. “May the site of conflict become the ground of peace by declaring an end to the Korean War and signing a peace treaty!”

The prayer also asks God to restore inter-Korean relations. “Grant us your comfort in our troubled hearts and somber spirits and instill your peace on the Korean Peninsula!” reads the prayer. "Unify the divided families so that their tears of joy may fill the whole land.”

The text also asks God to strengthen mutual cooperation for safety and health in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. “We confess that the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection was for those who died for justice and peace,” the prayer concludes. “We pray in the name of the Jesus Christ, who has overcome the death and claimed the ultimate victory over death.”