Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Korea church scraps border Christmas lights
Residents fear reprisals and shelling from North
- AFP, Seoul
- November 27, 2012
A South Korean church group has scrapped plans to display Christmas lights near the border with North Korea after residents voiced fears Pyongyang might shell the illuminations.
The Military Evangelical Association of Korea had planned to set up the giant display on three tree-shaped steel towers on hills near the heavily fortified border.
The proposal required approval from the defense ministry as the hills are within three kilometers of the frontier.
According to the ministry, local residents had protested against the plan on the grounds it might provoke a military response from North Korea. As a result, the church group agreed last week to shelve the proposal.
"We respect the group's decision," a ministry spokesman told AFP.
Before the South's "Sunshine Policy" of engagement with North Korea launched in 1998, the seasonal lighting displays were common.
Pyongyang repeatedly condemned them as "psychological warfare" aimed at spreading Christianity to the isolated socialist North.
In 2004 the two Koreas agreed to halt official-level cross-border propaganda and the South stopped the Christmas border illuminations completely.
They were resumed in 2010 after North Korea shelled a frontline island, but were postponed last year in a conciliatory gesture following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il.