From the Methodist Church Media Service:
Speaking following the announcement of the death of North Korean Leader Kim Jung Il, Steve Pearce, World Church Partnership Coordinator for the Methodist Church in Britain said:
“The Methodist Church in Britain offers its prayers and support to its brothers and sisters in the whole of Korea today on the news of the death of Kim Jung Il. We pray especially for our partners the National Council of Churches in Korea and the Korean Methodist Church as they offer leadership at this difficult time. The Methodist Church echoes the concern expressed in the NCCK statement, reproduced below, that this time of sadness and anxiety should be the occasion of words and steps that build peace and reconciliation.”
The Church is encouraging people to pray for the nation at this difficult time and offers this special prayer:
You love the people of this world with tenderness and care.
We pray that the people of the Korean peninsula may feel your love at this time of fear and uncertainty.
As we prepare to celebrate your coming among us as a vulnerable child, help us as we seek ways to tend the fragile flower of peace in your world.
May our Christian solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Korea be a continuing and mutual source of strength.
We pray in Jesus’ name,
The National Council of Churches in Korea has issued the following statement:
“The National Council of Churches in Korea expresses its sincere condolences on the death of Kim Jung Il, North Korean Leader, and we pray that God’s consolation be with people in North Korea who are in the midst of grieving and suffering. It should not be a moment which is threatening peace on the Korean peninsula and worsening of North and South relationship. We hope that South Korean government take this to ease conflict between North and South, sending condolence delegation consisting of representatives from government as well as from society including religious community and paying its respects to the deceased. And We ask international community to cooperate continuously not taking this for breaking of security on the Korean peninsula, but for building peace on the region of North East Asia.”
The Methodist Church in Britain has recently given a grant of £10,000 to provide humanitarian support in North Korea. Following an initial shipment of wheat flour in May 2011, sent through the Amity Foundation in China, the National Council of Churches in Korea, in solidarity with the Ecumenical Forum for Korea sent a second shipment of 180 tons of wheat flour to the Korean Christian Federation in North Korea on 11th of November.
Expressing her heartfelt appreciation to all those who have shown solidarity with the project, the Revd Heawon Chae, Executive Coordinator of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, said: “In North Korea at least 700g of food per person is needed for daily life, but now only 200g is distributed as a daily ration. We believe that this humanitarian support to North Korea has been carried in the spirit of Christian love and we have been keeping the spirit that the humanitarian aid should be done without any condition in the situation which over one third of the whole population is faced with starving and suffering with chronic and severe malnutrition.”