South Korea: Church to hold novena on 70th anniversary of Korean War

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South Korea: Church to hold novena on 70th anniversary of Korean WarSouth Korean Catholics will unite in a prayer novena to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

The Catholic community in South Korea will hold a novena of prayer for reconciliation and national unity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Organized by the National Reconciliation Committee of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of Korea, the nine-day novena will take place from 17 to 25 June, with each day dedicated to a specific prayer intention.

Over the duration of the prayer novena, the faithful will pray for a peaceful unification in the divided peninsula, for political leaders to be peacemakers, for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and a world free of nuclear weapons, and for those suffering from economic sanctions.

Throughout the nine-day period, the Catholic community will also pray for the evangelization of the peninsula, for families separated by the border and those who fled North Korea, for reconciliation and national unity, and for the complete end of the war leading to lasting peace in Korea.

The prayer for peace will be accompanied by a national symposium that will be held in Seoul on 20 June, according to the Vatican’s Fides news agency.

Ecumenical prayer for peace

The South Korean Catholic community will also hold a national prayer on 27 July – the day on which, exactly 70 years ago, the armistice of the conflict in the Korean peninsula was signed.

Christian communities in the country will also hold an ecumenical prayer for peace to commemorate the victims of the conflict which totaled to three million, half of which are civilians.

Seven decades later, Christian communities in South Korea are still calling for “an immediate formal declaration of the end of the Korean War” and the passage of a peace treaty to replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement.

The Korean War, spanning from 1950 to 1953, concluded with the establishment of a new demarcation line dividing North and South Korea, known as the "Korean Demilitarized Zone."

Zeus Legaspi