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Condolence Message by CCA General Secretary-Park Hyung Kyu

관리자 (기타,총회본부,목사) 2016-08-21 (일) 13:51 10개월전 928  


Condolence Message


from Christian Conference of Asia (CCA)


 


It is with great sadness that we received the news of the demise of the Rev. Park Hyung Kyu, a renowned ecumenical leader and former moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Republic of Korea (PROK) on 18 August 2016. Rev. Park Hyung Kyu has been a committed Christian leader, theologian, a tenacious fighter who stood for human dignity, and a political prisoner who epitomized the Korean Christians’ aspirations for a new church, new confession of faith, new theology and the process of the budding and growth of new actions based on their Christian faith and witness. 


 


He demonstrated his faith and witness through active participation in the forefront of peoples’ struggle for democratization and human rights during the authoritarian military dictatorship in Korea. He was a pioneer of the Korean Christians’ early initiatives of participation in people’s movements and especially the formation of the Urban Rural Mission ministry. He was the first chairperson of the Seoul Metropolitan Community Organizing (SMCO) committee, the forerunner of the Korean Urban Poor Mission movement when it was officially founded in 1971. As the chief architect of the SMCO, he led the Christian movement and their struggle against political forces which oppressed the self-reliant life of the Korean people. Under his able leadership, the SMCO mobilized the poor and the marginalized and declared "We too are the people of God", "We too are the masters of this land given by God", "We can create new history and new culture", and to have the conviction to "love the world and create together with our neighbours a world that God would rejoice in seeing." We are certain that the poor and the alienated people can take part in the God’s work for liberation”.


 


Rev. Park Hyung Kyu’s role in shaping the theological convictions and undergirding of churches participation in people’s struggle for freedom and human rights has been unique. He played a noteworthy role in developing the much publicised Theological Declaration of Korean Christians, issued in May 1973, which has been compared to the ‘Barmen Declaration’ of the German Churches under Hitler. The wide publicity and recognition to this document publicised by the Korean churches during the military dictatorship within and outside of the country disturbed the rulers and subsequently Rev. Park Hyung Kyu was arrested and imprisoned in July, 1973.


 


Through his active participation and leadership in Korean URM movement he was able to contribute to the development of ideological and theological framework of the Urban Rural Mission programmes of the World Council of Churches and the Christian Conference of Asia in 1970s and 1980s. He greatly acknowledged the role of the World Council of Churches and the international ecumenical community who came forward to condemn his arrest and appeal to the Korean government for his release from the imprisonment. 


 


With the passing away of Rev. Park Hyung Kyu’s, the Korean churches and the Asian ecumenical fraternity lost a committed Christian, a practical ecumenist and a true humanist. I remember meeting him and listening his inspiring testimony at a luncheon meeting held at the Lottee hotel in Seoul in January 2013 organized by the Korean host committee of WCC Assembly.  On behalf of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), I express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved members of his family, members of the (PROK), and ecumenical fraternity in Korea.


 


       “Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and


        sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead”.


                                                                                                                                   (Isiah 26:10)


                                                                                                                                                                                         


May his soul rest in peace.

                                                                             

 


 

Dr. Mathews George Chunakara


General Secretary


Christian Conference of Asia



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