2018: Cultivating Peace, Proclaiming Hope
The National Council of Churches in Korea
Communique for “International Conference in Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the 88 Declaration”
Cultivating Peace, Proclaiming Hope
“For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down
the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” (Ephesians 2:14)
God’s vision for this world sees swords being beaten into ploughshares (Isaiah 2:4), nations
gathering together under the light of God’s justice and peace, sisters and brothers once in
conflict embracing each other, and all God’s children fearing neither hunger, nor thirst nor
threats of war. So long as nations practice invading each other, developing bombs and
missiles to destroy each other, and refusing to sit at the table until unrealistic conditions are
met then we move further away from God’s vision for our world. We invite Christians around
the world and all people of good will to join us as we walk the path of peace with our God
proclaiming the promise that God will one day redeem this whole creation.
We have gathered as Christian leaders from around the world together with Korean
Christian leaders to reflect upon the significance of the 1988 Declaration of the Churches of
Korea on National Reunification and Peace and its implications for our lives and actions in
today’s context. After a period of explosively escalating tensions, we have welcomed the
PyeongChang Olympic Truce and the new steps towards dialogue between North (DPRK)
and South (ROK) as an historic opportunity.
The ecumenical community has affirmed that God's peace and justice is based on the belief
that without justice for all everywhere we shall never have peace anywhere. Indeed, peace
in the world depends on realizing peace on the Korean Peninsula. In the 30 years since the
1988 Declaration we have been dedicated to cultivating peace. Like the persistent widow
mentioned in Luke 18, we can claim hope as the fruit of our persistence, described in our
conference as a "fierce patience." Paul's letter to the Galatians encourages us to "not grow
weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up" (Gal. 6:9).
We recognize the political events of the day present us with Kairos moment. We stand at the
edge of possibility, and with God's grace we proclaim that the time for peace on the Korean
Peninsula is now. ...