Church leaders intervene in N. Korea and US stand off
As the threat of nuclear conflict escalates between the U.S. and North Korea, religious leaders are stepping into the firestorm in an urgent quest to calm the rhetoric between President Trump and dictator Kim Jong Un.
“The Catholic Church has been a leader against nuclear proliferation, and the Church has been able to act in different areas around the world where others can’t,” Christopher Hale, a senior fellow at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and leader for President Obama’s national Catholic outreach, told Fox News. He stressed that church members in both the Korean Peninsula and in the U.S. have potential to play a key part in stopping the military escalation.
Late last week, the National Council of Churches in South Korea (NCCK) issued an “emergency letter” to South Korean president Moon Jae-In, emphasizing their serious concerns.
The global prayer event, which this year had a theme based on Romans 14:10 “Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding,” came just two days before the annual Liberation Day in both North and South Korea. Traditionally celebrated on August 15th, the occasion commemorates the date in 1945 when Korea was granted independence from the Japanese, and was subsequently divided into two.
Dr. Phillip Bethancourt, Executive VP for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
“Global unrest should drive Christians to prayer,” noted Dr. Phillip Bethancourt, Executive VP for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “As the crisis with North Korea escalates, believers should pray that our government leaders would have wisdom, that our persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea would have protection, and that our own hearts would have faith in the power of God in the midst of uncertainty.”
Meanwhile, Douglas Carver, the former U.S. Army chief of chaplains, also prompted followers not only to pray for a “diplomatic solution” first and foremost, but also for “the commander-in-chief and his cabinet members, our congressional leaders and members of the armed services who may be required to make grave and costly decisions in the near future.”
He added, “It appears that the time for a diplomatic solution is running out.”