President Timothy Moon Jae-in (center front row) walks with religious leaders including Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju (second left, front row) ahead of their meeting in Seoul. (Photo courtesy of the president’s office)
South Korea’s president has called on the country’s religious leaders to promote reconciliation and peace on the Korean Peninsula by finding ways to spur dialogue with the North.
The declaration came during a recent meeting between President Timothy Moon Jae-in and the leaders of seven major religions in Korea at the president's office in Seoul.
One of the leaders at the meeting was Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju.
Addressing inter-Korean tensions on the peninsula President Moon stressed that dialogue needs to be pursued to solve the nuclear crisis and that religions could play a major role in bring this about.
"Currently inter-Korean relations are at an impasse, so religions and civil groups in Korea need to take the initiative to open avenues for dialogue," he said.
He said the current situation is unprecedented and that all parties needed to tread carefully.
"However, as it is darkest just before daybreak, if we can overcome this current crisis, inter-Korean relations can be dramatically developed," he added.
"As religious leaders, we will try our best to help the government spread its policies including dialogue with North Korea," Archbishop Kim, also co-president of Korea Conference of Religions for Peace, told the president.
It was first such meeting between Moon and the country’s religious leaders.
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.