A high ranking delegation from Korea, composed of senior officialy of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the Korean Diakonia visited RCH and the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid on 5 - 7 April. Korean Diakonia and the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid signed a Memorandum of Understanding confirming their cooperation for the sake of the people of the war-torn Ukraine.
On April 5, Rev. Dr. KIM Taeyoung, President of Korean Diakonia, former Moderator of PCK and Dr. Károly Czibere, President of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid signed an agreement commiting themselves for joint efforts in the reception and support of refugees in Hungary, internally displaced persons in Ukraine and in supporting and equipping the Reformed community in Transcarpathia, Western-Ukraine, who themselves are restlessly serving among the IDPs fleeing Central and Eastern Ukraine.
On Tuesday morning, a five-member delegation from South Korea consulted with the leaders of our Church Aid to learn about its relief and aid for refugees and their future integration, and offered support of the Korean Diakonia and the Korean Presbyterian community, a long time close partner of the Reformed Church in Hungary.
"We are grateful to the Korean Diaconia and the Korean Presbyterian Church for counting on the solidarity and help of the Korean Christian brothers and sisters in the asylum crisis caused by the Ukrainian crisis," said Márton Juhász, CEO of HRCA after the meeting.
The Korean delegation inlcuded Rev. KIM Bo Hyun, PCK General Secretary of PCK, Rev. Dr. CHEON Young Cheol, General Secretary of Korean Diakonia (KD), Rev. BYUN Chang Bae, Deputy President of CTS TV, former General Secretary of PCK, Mr. PARK Ji hoon, pressman of the Kukmin Daily Newspaper. They were joined by JEONG Chae Hwa, senior pastor of the Korean Reformed Congregation in Budapest, an officially recognized local church of RCH.
The delegation visited shelters opened by HRCA among others for Roma families, fleeing the war, and reception centers in Budapest, like the BOK Stadium where Ukrainian refugees arriving in Budapest by train have been taken care of for the last weeks. They also visited the Headquarters of RCH and the Synod Hall where they were received by Balázs Ódor, Ecumenical Officer of RCH and László Zságer, head of the Refugee Ministry of HRCA and received detailed information on the current refugee crisis and the mid- and longterm complex integration programs of RCH, including housing, school- and labor market integration, cash assistance and language courses.
As highlight of the partnership and solidarity visit, the Korean delegation attended the meeting of the General Synod which took place in the Conference Center of RCH in Balatonszárszó. Rev. KIM, Bo Hyun, PCK General Secretary of PCK greeted the Synod and highlighted the importance of the longstanding partnership between RCH and PCK, which was sealed with a partnership agreement back in 2006. "The pandemic has given us great pain and loss. However at the same time, it also left a clear mark that all of our lives are connected in this world," the General Secretary said. Korean churches have experienced chhallenges such as secularisation, population decline, and climate change already before the pandemic. This and the news from the Ukrainian war made them rethink what the mission of the Church today would be. "5000 miles away, The Korean Church is praying restlessly for the country where they have never been to before. Whenever there is a way, they offer first aid, and continuously think of how to help rebuilding the broken community," Kim stressed. He also expressed his gratitude and appreciation for PCK's missionary, the minister of the Korean Presbyterian community in Budapest, Jeong Chae Hwa for being the bridge between the two churches. "The Korean church will also forever remember the dedication of Rev. Bertalan Tamas for his tremendous work in establishing the cooperation of both churches in World Mission," recalled the memory of the former Ecumenical Officer of RCH.
Kim stressed the special link between the Korean and Hungarian presbyterians and extended the greetings and blessings of the Moderator of PCK, Rev. Dr. Lyu Young Mo, congratulating Bishop Zoltán Balog for his election as the Ministerial President of the Synod last year.
Bishop Balog in his reply emphasized the importance of the experience of the reformed community in Korea which as a minority took over social and political responsibility in the country, while maintaning their . He stressed the high relevance and importance of a strengthened exchange and cooperation between the two churches which helps the oriention of our communities in the light of the biblical thruth and Christian values.