By Linda Worthington and the Rev. Jacob Lee - United Methodist News Service
“Peace for Korea Now!” shouted about 200 people, primarily Korean or Korean Americans, as they marched the mile from Foundry United Methodist Church to Lafayette Park in front of the White House on Saturday.
Standing behind a banner that read: Pray to End the War; Reunite Families; and Bring Peace to Korea, the Rev. We Chang of the United Methodist New England Annual (regional) Conference echoed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as he declared, “We too have a dream, a dream for peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
The July 26 “Korea Peace March and Vigil” was the culmination of a two-day event timed to coincide with the 61st anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War on July 27, 1953.
Decades of division in Korea, have “been too long,” noted the Rev. Chongho James Kim, North Georgia Conference, who said he was overwhelmed to see all generations participating in the peace march. “I pray that all this effort will bring the reunification of Korea closer.”
The U.S. needs to take a lead in forging peace between North and South Korea, said June Kim, another United Methodist participant. Korea is a country that’s still divided when other Cold War-era rifts have healed, she pointed out. “As a Korean-American, that really weighs heavily on my heart, especially for the separated families that haven’t seen each other for over 61 years,” she said.
Jesus prayed that all Christians become one, said Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, ecumenical officer for the United Methodist Council of Bishops.
“For us, this march is about being one in Christ, being one people, one land and truly having peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula as a part of our Christian witness.”