23rd June, 2014

An international group of church leaders has called for an international day of prayer for the "peaceful reunification" of North and South Korea.

Meeting in Switzerland last week with the aim of "advancing reconciliation and peace" on the Korean Peninsula, the group - which included church leaders from North and South Korea - issued a communique recommending the World Council of Churches encourage its member churches to observe the Sunday before 15th August each year as the day of prayer. They also recommended that the day be first held this year on 10th August.

The group, the gathering of which was sponsored by the WCC, the Korea Christian Federation of North Korea and the National Council of Churches of Korea in South Korea, asked the WCC to promote annual meetings between Christians from the North and South in conjunction with the day and encouraged its member churches to undertake church visits in both North and South Korea "in order to build relationships".

Elsewhere, the communique, which was issued at the end of the two day meeting on 19th June, asked churches and "related organizations around the world" to advocate for the lifting of all sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the cessation of military exercises around the Korean peninsula "as steps toward establishing the necessary conditions for peace and reconciliation".

To read the full text of the communique, follow this link.

- DAVID ADAMS