Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
  • Sri Lanka children - Jim Stipe
  • Golden calf on Wall Street
  • Seedbag
  • Altar in Palestine - R Rodrick Beiler
  • corn bags

Longing for Reconciliation: Lamenting over 70 years of Division Between North Korea and South Korea

The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns signed on to the following statement in July 2020 in support of the Korean American Churches. 

A statement from the Korean American Churches. 

As people reconciled with God through the love of Christ, Christ calls us to the ministry of reconciliation across the divisions of this world (2 Corinthians 5:16-20). In this time of lament and reckoning in our world, we mourn systemic racial injustice and great divides between people within the United States and around the world. We also mourn seven decades of division and war on the Korean peninsula.

2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War on June 25, 1950. This horrific war took over four million lives, caused unspeakable devastation and trauma, divided the Korean nation and separated millions of family members – including the families of many of those signed below.

Although a ceasefire on July 27, 1953 brought an end to active fighting, the U.S. and the two Koreas never signed a formal peace treaty declaring an end to the war, and this ongoing conflict contributes to hostilities and tensions involving the United States and the Korean peninsula. The continuing divide between South Korea and North Korea is now the longest unresolved separation of a people in modern history. The Korean War is often referred to as the "forgotten war” in the U.S. Yet it is unforgettable to the 1.7 million American troops who fought on Korean soil, including the families of the 32,000 who were killed on Korean soil.

The Korean War is also unforgettable to our fellow Christians of Korean ethnicity in the trauma their families experienced, in the tragic and ongoing division between North and South, and in over 70 years of hostilities and tensions between South Korea, North Korea, and the U.S.

The United States played a significant role in the Korean War, and North and South Korea cannot end the war without U.S. agreement. Because of this, Korean Americans can play a unique role in inspiring communities, churches, and political leaders in the work of reconciliation.

As Korean American Christians:
● We mourn the lives lost, the cities, towns, and land destroyed, and the families separated by the Korean War. We invite churches and communities of faith in the United States and throughout the world to lament both these tragic losses and the ongoing separation and hostility between North and South Korea.
● We believe our deepest motivation to engage the Korean divide as followers of Christ is not political or economic but as peacemakers and agents of reconciliation, following Jesus’ costly way of the cross – of discipleship, forgiveness, and justice which restores broken relationships.
● We call Christians in the U.S. and the two Koreas to examine and to confess where we have continued to perpetuate the Korean divide. There cannot be authentic reconciliation unless there is truth, and we believe repentance begins with the church itself.
● As Korean Americans, we share the experience of longing for our country of origin, even if it is not one we have seen in our lifetimes. We recognize our familial ties and common cultural history with the people of North Korea, and we long for reconciliation with our sisters and brothers in North Korea. Often there is
little awareness of the Korean War and a history of one Korea in younger generations. We commit to the ministry of education to rediscover our own story, and to embrace a theology of reconciliation shaped by a Korean Christian imagination.
● In the spirit of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:34-36 and Luke 4:18-19, we seek to extend compassion for the widow, the orphan, the imprisoned, and the sick by supporting humanitarian aid and standing for human dignity on the Korean peninsula.
● The prophetic call of the church is to speak truth to power, and that can call us to political action. We call for an end to the Korean War, a conflict that escalates hostilities between people who share language, traditional culture and ancient history. We pray for and call on the leaders of the United States, South Korea, North Korea, and other governments who have played a role in the conflict to engage peacefully through dialogue and cooperation.
● We believe that God is faithful, and that the arc of the universe in God’s victory in Christ bends toward justice, reconciliation, and beloved community. We pray that someday all Korean people will be able to return to the birthplaces of their ancestors, to meet face-to-face across the peninsula, and to recognize each other as sisters, brothers and image-bearers of God.

Sincerely,

Statement Drafters,

Peter Cha, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Eugene Cho, Bread for the World
Grace Choi, Re’Generation Movement
Hyun Hur, ReconciliAsian
Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Earlham School of Religion
Jongdae Kim, Re’Generation Movement
Sue Park-Hur, Mennonite Church USA
Soong-Chan Rah, North Park Theological Seminary
Stephen Yoon, Ignis Community

Korean Americans,

Taehyung “Brian” Ahn
Il Hong Baik
Julie Branstetter
Elise Byun
Raymond Chang, Asian American Christian Collaborative
We Hyun Chang, Peace Committee, Korean Association of the UMC
Jennifer Chapman
John Cheon, Sallims Christian Church
Andrew Cho, Bethel Presbyterian Church, Oregon
Rev. Daniel Seunghyun Cho, HAN United Methodist Church
Aiyoung Choi, Women Cross DMZ
Jin Young Choi, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
Soyeon Choi
Yongha Choi, Stepstone Church
Hong Taek Chung
Seungil Eo, University Christian Church
Young Lee Hertig, Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity (ISAAC)
Angie Hong
Joey Hong, DC2DC
Peter Hong, New Community Covenant Church
Joseph Hwang
Drew Hyun, Hope Midtown; Hope Church NYC
Hyepin Im, Faith and Community Empowerment
Gyedo Jeon
Nicole Jeong
Sug Jeong
Helen Ryun Ji, Ignis Community
Wonhee Anne Joh, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary
William H. Jun
Hyun-Tae Jung, New York Institute of Technology
Anna Kang, House Los Angeles
Doo Kang
Ed Kang, PCUSA
Chung Seong Kim, North American Pacific/ Asian Disciples
Emily Kim
Eric Kim, Action One Korea
Eun Joo Kim, PCUSA
Hyun Ju Kim
Insoo Kim, Action One Korea
Jeehye Kim, ReconciliAsian
Jeremy Kim
Johann Kim, Seattle Onnuri Church
Jonathan J. Kim, pastor, Christian Reformed Church in North America
Nak Sun Kim
Rev. Woogie Kim, South Bay Together
Yunki Kim
Gun Yong Kwak, Good Neighborhood Church
Tae Hyung Kwon
Ceol-Ho Lee, Peace21
Daniel D. Lee, Fuller Seminary, Center for Asian American Theology and Ministry
Daniel J. Lee, Bethel Presbyterian Church, Oregon
Dongwoo Lee, Presbyterian Peace Network for Korea
Elizabeth Lee
Inyeop Lee
Justin Lee, SJH Mission
Martin Lee, Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church
SaeJin Lee
Unzu Lee, Presbyterian Peace Network for Korea
Yoojin Lee, Peace21
Young Chan Lee
Rev. Choon Lim, Presbyterian Church USA
Peter Lim, 4Pointes Church of Atlanta
Eun-hyey Lok, minister and marriage and family therapist
Zac Luben, Minister, Churches of Christ
Ann Rhee Menzie, Retired Presbyterian Minister
Giup Nam
Sanggon Nam, Azusa Pacific University
Bert Newton, Pasadena Mennonite Church
Sung Deuk Oak, UCLA
Andrew Sung Park, United Theological Seminary
Danny Park
Rev. Dr. Grace Park, Presbyterian Church USA
Dr. Han S. Park, Professor Emeritus of International Affairs, University of Georgia
Marion Park, Grace First Presbyterian Church
Shin-Hwa Park, Presbyterian Peace Network for Korea, PCUSA
Sun Woo Park, Emory University student
Soong-Chan Rah, North Park Theological Seminary
Mariann H. M. Reardon, Mennonite Church USA
Robin Roh
Ko Sanghwan, Nehemiah for Christian Studies
Hyuk Seonwoo, United Methodist Church
Taehwan Son, Chicago Joyful Community Church
HyeYoon Song, ReconciliAsian
MyongSong, Action One Korea
Kyung Lan Suh
Isaac Surh, Chroma Church
In Yang, Palm Springs Korean Presbyterian Church
Jijoon Yang
Eun Young Youn, Peace21
Grace Yu

Others, in solidarity,

Danelle Alexander
Rev. Earl Arnold, Presbyterian Peace Network for Korea, PCUSA
Rose Marie Berger, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative
Mary Bohn, Re’Generation Movement
M. Blaise Brankatelli
Susan Friesen Cameron, Pasadena Mennonite Church
Jung Choi, Urban Institute
Paul Kyu-Jin Choi, Village Church
Namshik Chon, Dream Baptist Church
Diana Collymore, Lawndale Christian Community Church
Edgardo Colón-Emeric, Duke Divinity School
Lawrence Couch, Han Su Tae Kwon Do
John Crewe, Pastor, Lahaina United Methodist Church
Stephanie Crumley-Effinger, Earlham School of Religion, retired
Anthony Donovan, author, World Peace?
Derek Duncan, Global Ministries of the Christian Church, United Church of Christ
Carter Echols
Rev. Larry S. Emery, Presbyterian Church, USA
Yuko Fukushima, Aoyama Gakuin University
Susan Gunn, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Jeremy (Taedong) Ha
Scott Harris
John Hart
David Hartsough, San Francisco Friends Meeting
Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins, Presbyterian Church USA
Del Hershberger, Mennonite Church USA
Melissa Hofstetter, Shepherd Heart
Doug Hostetter, Evanston Mennonite Church
Seungmin Hyun, Korea Association for Restorative Justice
Daniel Jasper, American Friends Service Committee
Amber Jipp, North Park University
Joshua Joseph, Associate Pastor, International Pentecostal Assembly
Jongsoon Jung
Hyunil James Kim
Jamie Kim, Reah International
Jongpil Kim
Scott Kim, Collective Joy Consulting
SeongHan Kim, Mennonite Central Committee Northeast Asia
W. Mark Koenig, Presbytery of New York City
James R. Krabill, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Joseph Kwon
Serafim Kykotis, Orthodox Archbishopric of Zimbabwe and Angola
Aurum Laguna, Jr., Sunset Church
John F. Lapp, Mennonite Mission Network
Sandra Shenk Lapp, Mennonite Church USA
John Paul Lederach, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame
Jae Young Lee, Korea Peacebuilding Institute (KOPI)
Seung Min Lim
Pastor Juliet L. Liu, Life on the Vine Church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance
Jewel Gingerich Longenecker
Gene Matthews, former missionary to Korea
Lane Miller, Mennonite Church USA
Debek Min
David Moore, New Covenant Church
Melba G. Moore, Pasadena Mennonite Church
Louise Morris, former United Methodist missionary to Korea
Don Mosley, Jubilee Partners
Ched Myers, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries
Erica Nellessen, Pasadena Mennonite Church
Michael Neuroth, United Church of Christ
Rev. George Ogle, Methodist missionary in Korea, 1954-1974
Dorothy Ogle, Methodist missionary in Korea, 1960-1975
오인수 (Insoo Oh)
Munsu Park, S.J., Sogang University
Titus Peachey
Gilberto Pérez Jr., Goshen College
Barbara D. Peterson, former Baptist missionary in Korea
Madison N. Pierce, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Diane Randall, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Timothy W. Reardon, Pasadena Mennonite Church, Fuller Theological Seminary
Chris Rice, Mennonite Central Committee UN Office
Rev. Joe Roos, retired pastor, Mennonite Church USA
Amanda Holm Rosengren, Pastor, Anglican Church of North America
John D. Roth, Goshen College, Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism
Steven C. Roy, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Clare Ann Ruth-Heffelbower, Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference
Maria Santelli, Center on Conscience & War
Tina Schlabach, Co-pastor, Shalom Mennonite Fellowship
Minjung Seo
Baek Seungkwon, Communications Consulting & Clinic Ltd.
Melissa Bruce Shaffer, Church of the Brethren
Kyuhwan Shim, Action One Korea
Brother HanYol Shin, Taizé community
Randall Spadoni
Melissa Spolar
Jennifer Telfer, Global Humanitarian Engagement
Caroline Thao, Mosaic Ministries and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Karin Kaufman Wall
Caryl Walsh, Sudbury, MA UMC
Kate Wentland, Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference
Cheryl Woelk, Collective Joy Consulting
Col. Ann Wright, US Army, Veterans for Peace
Nathan Yoder, West Coast Mennonite Central Committee
Joy Yoon, Ignis Community
Sang-Hun Yoon, Handong Global University
Kenichi Yoshida, ReconciliAsian
Sayuri Yoshida
Hwancheol Yun

Region: