【December 2019 No.405】Japanese and Korean Christians Jointly Pray for Reconciliation and Peace

Christians between Japan and South Korea held a joint prayer meeting at Nihon Kirisuto Kyokai (Church of Christ in Japan) Kashiwagi Church in Shinjuku, Tokyo on Oct. 9, amid the recent worsening political, economic, and societal relationships between the two nations. In addition to the Kyodan, representatives from the Korean Christian Church in Japan, the Anglican-Episcopal Church in Japan, the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Japan Baptist Convention, the Japan Baptist Union, the Japan Christian Church, and the Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace formed an organization committee to sponsor the event, and the more than 170 participants surpassed expectations.

 

This event was in response to prayer meetings held on Aug. 11 in South Korea  by church people concerned about the present situation between Korea and Japan. They expressed the hope that Christians in Japan could also hold such a prayer event. About 20 Christians from South Korea came to attend the meeting in Japan. So as fellow Christians who look up to our Lord, who brought reconciliation through the breaking down of barriers through the shedding of his own blood, we joined our hearts together in prayer.

Following messages by Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo and General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee Hong-Jung of the National Christian Council in Korea (NCCK), written prayers from ten representative South Korean and Japanese churches and organizations, including the YMCA, were read as part of a litany of prayer. A choir from South Korea also sang hymns of praise, which made the prayers for reconciliation and peace all the more powerful. Likewise, there was a report from a team that had visited Pyongyang in North Korea in July, and although the flow is indeed only a trickle, the Lord of reconciliation and peace is working in that situation. (Tr. TB)

—Akiyama Toru, Kyodan general secretary

 

和解と平和を求める日韓キリスト者の共同祈祷会

 昨今の日韓の政治・経済・社会の関係が悪化しているなかで、表記の集会が10月9日夕に日本キリスト教会柏木教会で開かれた。本教団をはじめ、在日大韓教会、日本聖公会、日本福音ルーテル教会、日本バプテスト連盟、同盟、日本キリスト教会、日本カトリック正義と平和協議会などによる実行委員会の主催で、予想を超える170余名の参会者によって盛大に行われた。この集会は、去る8月11日にこの状況を憂える韓国の教会からの呼びかけで、ソウルで行われた集会の連続で、日本でもぜひこの祈りの会を開きたいとの願いを受けて開かれたもの。韓国からは20名ほどの参加者があり、同じ主を仰ぐキリスト者として、隔ての壁をご自身の血によって取り除き、和解をもたらしてくださった主イエス・キリストに心を合わせて祈った。

 集会では石橋教団議長と韓国NCC総幹事のメッセージの後、両国の教会やYMCAなど各センター10数団体からの平和を求める祈祷文が読み上げられ、主の祈りをもとにしたリタニ―によって祈りがささげられた。韓国からこの集会のために来られた聖歌隊による力強い賛美もあって、和解と平和を求める祈りを熱くさせられた。

 また、この集会で7月に平壌を訪れた訪問団の報告会も行われ、北朝鮮人民共和国のキリスト者との交流の、まだ細い流れではあるが、和解と贖罪の主の導きによる歩みが始まっていることの報告を受けた。(秋山 徹)