ASIA/NORTH KOREA - An inter-religious delegation visits North Korea

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 dialogue   human rights  

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - A delegation of 150 religious leaders of different communities paid a visit to North Korea: during the short trip on 10 and 11 November, the leaders of seven major religions in South Korea, gathered under the aegis of "Korean Conference of Religions for Peace "(KCRP) and reached Mount Kumgang, where there is the well-known Buddhist temple Singyesa, founded in 519, and was destroyed during the Korean War (1950-1953) by American bombing and rebuilt in 2004 thanks to a project between the two Koreas. In this symbolic site the rare meetings between religious delegations from North and South are held.
The visit, informs the Conference in a note sent to Fides, had the aim to "pray together for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula". The event is "particularly significant", adds the KCRP, because for the first time the religious leaders of the two Koreas met since President Parco Geun-hye came to power in Seoul.
Pyongyang had received the visit of two Christian delegations in recent days: the Association of Catholic Priests for Justice (Cpaj), who celebrated a Mass in the North Korean capital; the second delegation belonged to the "Ecumenical Forum for Korea", initiated by the "World Council of Churches", who visited the only two Christian places of worship found in Pyongyang, the Catholic and the Protestant Church in Changchun. A member of the delegation said that, according to officials of the North Korean regime, about 200 people gather every Sunday in the Catholic church for a liturgy, even without the Eucharist. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/11/2015)