» 10/09/2013, 00.00
Christian peace train leaves Berlin for Korea
Two clergymen from the World Council of Churches blessed the voyage at the Brandenburg Gate. The train will stop in Moscow, Irkutsk and Beijing, and hopefully pass through Pyongyang. It is set to arrive on 28 October in Busan, South Korea.
Berlin (AsiaNews) - The Train for peace and reunification in Korea left Berlin
yesterday. An initiative of the World Council of Churches, its goal is to bring
the world's attention on the "absolute necessity" to bring peace to
the Korean peninsula.
Rev Cho Hyun-jung, from Korea, and Rev Christophe Taileman, from Germany
(pictured), blessed the voyage at the
Brandenburg Gate and then got on the train.
The trip includes several stops and is set to end on 28 October in Busan,
South Korea. In between, the train will stop in Moscow, Irkutsk, Beijing, and
If North Korean authorities do not allow the train carrying praying Christian
volunteers to enter North Korean territory, the National Council of Churches plans
to book a ship from Dandong (in China) to Incheon.
The National Council of Churches is one of the few organisations that,
together with the Catholic Church and the Red Cross, still manages to have
humanitarian relations with Kim Jong-un's regime.
Whilst recognising the need for dialogue, the Council in recent years has
launched several campaigns, like dropping anti-regime leaflets from balloons, which
have undermined relations between Seoul and Pyongyang.
Korea, end of the line for the "peace train"
The historic connection, launched with a bang one year ago, has been cut off by the decision of the government of Pyongyang. It was a symbol of the slow journey toward peace, but often traveled empty. The communist regime accuses the South of promoting hostile policies; for Seoul, any agreement depends on the interruption of the North Korean nuclear program.
Seoul, after 50 years trains will link up two Koreas
Prime Ministers from Seoul and Pyongyang signed an accord which sets out the establishing rail links between the two nations. Currently the lines arrive as far as Kaesong, the joint Korean industrial complex in the north of the peninsula.
Mourning for Kim Dae-jung gives birth to improved relationship with Pyongyang
Gestures of reconciliation between the two Koreas, in mourning for the death of former President of the South. Northern delegation pays tribute to the remains and a summit with South Korean officials is not excluded. Pyongyang removes borders restrictions and announces the resumption of rail and telephone connections.
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Korea, Berlin to teach Seoul how to reunify a country
A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two governments formalized decision: Germany will provide the necessary advice towards a possible reunification of the Korean peninsula. The problems are enormous, both economically and socially. For over a decade, the Church has been engaged in the field.
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The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution
The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.
Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West
The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".
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