04/05/2012, 00.00
KOREA

North and South meeting at Easter for "prayer and reconciliation"

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
Christian delegations from across the divide meet in Kaesong to pray together for the unity of the peninsula. Hope in a new season of trust and future reconciliation is rekindled.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - On Easter, "the Korean people, north and south, will turn to the Lord and as one they will pray for reunification. Even though years may pass, this shared desire will continue to fill our hearts," faithful from the two Koreas said in a prayer meeting held in Kaesong's intra-Korean zone.

Pyongyang's Communist regime authorised the meeting in order to reopen humanitarian channels shut down following its nuclear provocation in 2008.

The National Christian Council in Korea released the text of the prayer for reading on Easter Sunday.

At their meeting, the two delegations said they want to "replace hatred with love and mistrust with trust, beyond ideologies and political systems, in order to be united and reconciled as one nation."

Before the Korean Peninsula was divided by the Korean War, Pyongyang was known as the 'Jerusalem of Asia', with 410 ministers and 500 missionaries.

The city's strong Catholic community constituted 30 per cent of the city's population.

With Kim Il-sung's takeover, a vicious repression was unleashed against believers, virtually extinguishing all forms of religion in the country.

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