Global and Asian churches leaders warn on Korea standoff
December 3, 2010
The head of the Council for World Mission, a global grouping of mainly Reformed churches, has condemned the shelling by North Korea’s military of a South Korean island and has urged prayers that the tension does not escalate.
“CWM and its member churches share the sentiments expressed by international leaders, the global ecumenical fraternity and the world church community in deploring the unprovoked aggression and attacks, and calling upon North Korean military to cease from any further attacks upon the people of the South,” said CWM general secretary, the Rev. Des van der Water, in a letter to the Presbyterian Church of Korea.
The BBC reported Nov. 25 that South Korea is to strengthen its military force on five islands close to North Korea, amid tensions over the clash that left four people dead.
“It is with deep concern that we have taken note of the developments in the South Korean Island of Yeonpyeong, in which people have been tragically killed and injured,” said Van der Water in his 24 November letter from CWM’s London headquarters.
He added: “We regret this loss of life, injuries, and terror experienced by people on the Island and join our voice with all who are praying that this latest incident does not escalate into major conflict and war in the region.”
Separately the Christian Conference of Asia in a letter to its members in South Korea said it was praying that they would receive strength from God, “in this time of difficulty.”
“We earnestly hope that there will be a peaceful solution to this tension so that the people of South and North Korea will be able to live without fear,” the CCA general secretary, Henriette Hutabarat Lebang, said in a Nov. 24 pastoral letter.
CWM groups 31 member churches mainly from the Reformed sector of the Christian community, and located in six regions across the world.
ENInews’ Tokyo correspondent Hisashi Yukimoto contributed to this report.