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» 04/05/2012
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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See also
03/30/2012 KOREA
"Praying together in North Korea," Korean Christians say
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
07/14/2008 SOUTH KOREA - NORTH KOREA
Tension rises between the two Koreas, economic agreements and humanitarian aid at risk
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
07/26/2005 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
Pyongyang and Seoul set up two military liaison offices
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
06/17/2005 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
"Dear leader" meets South Korean envoy
09/22/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
Card. Cheong: "Pray that Eucharist may return to North Korea"

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
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Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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