It is with great worry that the Reformed Church in Hungary has received news about the rise in tension on the Korean peninsula. In this time of insecurity, prayer for our beleaguered believers in both Korean nations, and especially our partner churches in South Korea, is more important than ever. The Great Church congregation from Debrecen, which is in official partnership with Myungsung Presbyterian Church in Seoul, has also prayed during last week's Sunday service for the people of the countries affected. "We prayed for Christians who are put in danger due to war preparations. We prayed for families, that no matter what happens, as Christians they will remain strong in their faith" – Rev. Zsigmond Vad said. "Prayer for the political leaders of all the affected countries, that God will work in their heart and they will pursue peace and not war is also very important in this time of insecurity."
The Reformed Church in Hungary joins in alongside the World Council of Churches in a prayer for the Korean peninsula, that God's will, for justice and peace, be done.
The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Olav Tveit released a statement on the WCC website calling for an end to the increased tensions and asking those involved to move immediately toward a dialogue for peace, reconciliation and reunification. "For the sake of all in the region, particularly those living in both North and South Korea, the WCC and its member churches call for an end to the on-going threats and intimidation, which if not checked and ended could result in a catastrophic situation that no one wants," Tveit said.
In addition he encouraged Christians worldwide to be in prayer. "We invite all Christians to pray for the Korean peninsula and that God's will, for justice and peace, be done," he said.
Rev. Bae Tae-Jin, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, one of the RCH's partner churches, also released a statement in March calling for several actions to decrease escalating tensions. Below are a few excerpts from the document.
Weapons of war and destruction and the ongoing military exercises will not bring about safety and peace in the Korean Peninsula. We remember the words of Jesus, "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). The Bible says that the way to achieve peace is not through an 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth' (Matthew 5: 38), but rather 'to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,' (Matthew 5:44). We believe that in order to achieve peace in the Korean Peninsula, the South and the North should pray for one another, rather than with confrontation and posing tougher threats to each other and eagerly move forward on the path of reconciliation and peace through dialogue and negotiation.
We, in the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, marking the 60th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement in this year of 2013, earnestly pray to be free from the threat of war, urge the resumption of dialogue and negotiation to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and the establishment of a peace regime without preconditions from the parties concerned.
The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea reaffirms that the day will surely come when 'they will beat their swords into plowshares' and renew this land and march together to achieve peace in the Korean Peninsula.