Friday, October 25, 2013

Peace Train takes a journey towards reunification of the Koreas.

By the WCC news service

A Peace Train recently started its journey from Berlin, Germany, through Russia and China, to northeast Asia and the World Council of Churches (WCC) 10th assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The train, which aims to raise awareness about the 60-year division of the Korean Peninsula, will travel through Moscow, Irkutsk, Beijing, Pyongyang and Seoul, and will finally arrive in Busan around the beginning of the assembly. The Peace Train is a project of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) and the Korean Host Committee for the WCC assembly.

Some 130 people from around the world are travelling on the Peace Train and include church and civil society representatives. They will arrive in Busan on Oct. 28 and share their experiences at the WCC assembly. The train will highlight the importance of achieving peace on the Korean peninsula, cooperating with the churches of those countries which participated in the division of the Korean peninsula in 1953.

As part of this project, a seminar on “Religious Communities for Justice and Peace” has been organized in Moscow, the second stop of the Peace Train. The event was held in collaboration with the Russian Orthodox Church on Oct. 11.

WCC staff including Guillermo Kerber, program executive for Care for Creation and Climate Justice, and Mathews George Chunakara, director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, addressed the seminar. Kerber expressed “heartfelt appreciation” on behalf of the WCC for the efforts of the NCCK and the Korean Host Committee in coordinating the Peace Train project. He said, “Being confronted by overwhelming crises, churches and religious communities must overcome their divisions, speak out, and react as an expression of their commitment to life, peace, justice, and love.”

“A pilgrimage is always a transformative experience. May the Peace Train transform your lives, our lives, the lives of all of those going to the assembly,” Kerber added.

Catherine Christie from the NCCK and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, herself a traveller on the Peace Train, shared how Bible studies and discussions during the journey are a transformative experience. She said that many people in our world “suffer because of the corporate sin in our world--suffer from militarism, national hostilities.

“This group, made up of people from some African nations, India, Korea, European nations, Australia, New Zealand, North America, and Brazil,” creates “a variety of perspectives and wisdom,” added Christie.

In Berlin, where the Peace Train commenced its journey, several programs were organized by the German churches. One of these was a Peace Candlelight Prayer Vigil which took place in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Oct. 7. Among the speakers were Konrad Raiser and Kim Young Ju. Around 120 people from 15 countries participated in the event.

Find out more at the Peace Train website The website of the WCC 10th Assembly is

Source: 10/25/2013 Newsline

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