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    » 04/05/2012, 00.00

    KOREA

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

    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

    30/03/2012 KOREA
    "Praying together in North Korea," Korean Christians say
    The meeting is set for 12 June in the chapel of the Kaesong industrial complex, an inter-Korean joint venture. Tensions remain high on the peninsula because of a missile launch. The presence of Christians in North Korea raises doubts.

    14/07/2008 SOUTH KOREA - NORTH KOREA
    Tension rises between the two Koreas, economic agreements and humanitarian aid at risk
    The killing of a South Korean tourist risks sending the two countries back to the Cold War era. Seoul demands an official apology, and sends a team of investigators. Pyongyang rejects the idea of a "joint investigation", and blasts the decision to suspend tourism in the north.

    26/07/2005 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Pyongyang and Seoul set up two military liaison offices
    Their purpose is to prevent military clashes and reduce tensions along the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

    17/06/2005 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
    "Dear leader" meets South Korean envoy
    Seoul calls the meeting totally unexpected. Analysts view it as breather inhe nuclear stand-off.

    22/09/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Card. Cheong: "Pray that Eucharist may return to North Korea"

    The cardinal invited Korean believers to follow the martyrs' example and to live a life based on Eucharistic values. He expressed regret about the northern side of the border, where believers cannot receive the great gift of communion.





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