Participants are offering an unification flag during Mass for peace of the Korean Peninsula at Imjingak, near the cease-fire line with North Korea.
Around 20,000 Catholics, including 200 priests from across the country gathered today to pray for peace and reconciliation on a very tense Korean Peninsula. The bishop’s conference’s Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People held the special Mass in Imjingak, near the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. It was the first national level reconciliation Mass in eight years and came at a time when tensions are running high. Last year Seoul, accused the North of sinking a South Korean warship. North Korea denied the charge but later launched an artillery barrage at a South Korean island. “Most Catholics feel current relations between two Koreas are very serious,” said Father Timothy Lee Eun-hyung, the Mass organizer. “Many hoped the Mass might help thaw frosty ties,” he added. Bishop Peter Kang U-il of Cheju, who presided at the Mass, said during his homily that the issues of divided families and hunger in the north continue to haunt the peninsula. Al the participants read out a letter appealing for reconciliation between the two Koreas and asking the two governments to reopen dialogue and restart cultural exchange. Related report Diocese Holds Lunar New Year Mass For Families Separated By Political Division