【June 2018 No.398】Official Visits to Korea and Indonesia

by Kato Makoto, executive secretary

 From March 5 to 7, 2018, I participated in the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK)’s International Conference in Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the 1988 Declaration, which was held at the Ramada Hotel in the Dongdaemun area of Seoul. The theme of the conference was “Cultivating Peace, Proclaiming Hope” and was attended by 48 foreign guests and 70 participants from Korea. Among those listed from the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea was Rev. Nagao Yuki, a missionary sent from the Kyodan. World Council of Churches General Secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit and NCCK General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee Hong Jung were scheduled to deliver the opening day’s keynote addresses, but unfortunately WCC General Secretary Tveit was unable to attend because his flight was canceled due to airplane malfunction.

 The title of NCCK General Secretary Lee’s address was “No Other Way than Peace: Enhancing People’s Life Security by Developing Positive Peace.” Prior to the keynote address, there was a session on listening to stories during which three witnesses came to the stage to document historical facts as part of the sub-theme of the conference: “people living with the pains of division.” The first speaker was a female victim of the Jeju Uprising that began on April 3, 1948. There has been only a perfunctory knowledge of the “4.3 Uprising”—namely, that President Syngman Rhee had carried out a massacre of the people of Jeju Island. Even 70 years after the fact, the evidence of the unprovoked massacre described by the witness was shocking to those who heard about it.

 The second speaker was a man who had defected from North Korea, and the third speaker was a comparatively younger woman. Each speaker shared the reality of the suffering they had endured. Dr. Jung Se Hyun, former Republic of Korea Reunification Minister, delivered the keynote address on the second day entitled “Towards a Permanent Peace System on the Korean Peninsula.” In the evening, we separated into three Korean-speaking and three English-speaking discussion groups, and the contents of these discussions also had an impact on the adoption of the action plan and communiqué on the final day of the conference.

 On the afternoon of March 7 we boarded an airplane for Busan to attend the working-level meeting of five churches: the Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK), the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK), and Korean Methodist Church (KMC), the Korean Christian Church in Japan (KCCJ) and the Kyodan. During the morning of March 8, KCCJ General Secretary Kim Byeong-Ho, who comes from Busan, arranged for us to visit the UN Memorial Park there.

 For the first time I learned that during the turbulent times on the Korean peninsula, large numbers of displaced people had escaped to Busan. The United Nations forces were organized under the command of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, and standing in the cemetery where the name of each soldier who died is memorialized, I once again felt the depth of emotion that Korean Christians have for the unification of the Korean peninsula.

 A meeting was held at Haesong Presbyterian Church, with eight people in attendance. From the Kyodan, General Assembly Secretary Kumoshikari Toshimi and I attended. The theme was the problems faced by missionaries sent from each side, as well as solutions, and problems associated with handling missionaries. However, Secretary Kumoshikari expressed the opinion that we need to reaffirm the original intent of holding this meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Fukuoka at the end of November.

 From March 21 to 24,Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo and I attended the general assembly of the Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa (Gereja Masehi Injili di Minahasa [GMIM]) in Manado, located in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. We were there to receive approval from the assembly of a memorandum of agreement, as the first step toward entering into a mission agreement. The Minahasa Christian Evangelical Church has about 950 churches, with approximately a million members in Minahasa and surrounding provinces. The general assembly is held from Monday to Saturday once every four years. The vice-president of Indonesia gave an address at the opening worship service, but we unfortunately did not get there in time to hear it.

 We arrived at midnight on Wednesday, March 21, but the meeting was still going on. Elections took some time. Of the approximately 2,500 people at the meeting, 1,800 had voting rights. Internet voting was conducted to prevent fraud, but there were only 24 computers available at the venue. Even at 12:30 a.m., I witnessed long lines in front of the computers. The president and 15 staff members working at the church’s main office in Tomohon, about 25 km from Manado were being elected. In the end, the election took all night Thursday to complete. When we left the hall on Friday morning at 9:00, we could still see totally exhausted assembly members here and there, catching a few minutes of sleep. It was the first time I had ever seen a town with such a close relationship between the church and the community. (Tr. DB)

 

韓国出張とインドネシア出張

 2018年3月5日から7日までソウルの東大門にあるラマダホテルを会場にしてNCCKが主催するInternational Conference in Celebration of the 30thAnniversary of the 88 Declaration of the NCCKに参加した。主題はCultivating Peace, Proclaiming Hopeであった。海外ゲスト48名 に韓国側参加者70名であった。その中にはPROKに日本基督教団から派遣されている長尾有起宣教師も名を連ねていた。初日のKeynote AddressはWCCのRev. Dr. Olav Tveit Fykse総幹事とNCCKのRev. Dr. Lee Hong Jung総 幹事が行うことになっていたが、飛行機のトラブルでRev. Dr. Olav Tveit Fykse総 幹事が来られなかったのは残念であった。Rev. Dr. Lee Hong Jung総 幹事はNo Other Way than Peace: Enhancing People’s Life Security by Developing Positive Peaseと題した講演を行った。

 講演に先立って、Listening storiesのセッションがあった。副題はPeople living with pains of divisionで3人の立証者が壇上に登った。一人目はVictim of Jeju 4.3 Uprisingの 女性であった。済州島4.3事件については、李承晩大統領による島民虐殺とい う通り一遍の知識しか持ち合わせていませんでした。立証者が経験した一方的な虐殺の証言は、70年経っても聞く者の心に恐怖を与えました。二人目 は脱北者の男性。3人目は比較的若い女性でしたが、それぞれが抱える苦悩がリアルに伝 わってきました。二日目のKeynote AddressはFormer Reunification Minister of ROKのDr. Jung Se Hyun によるTowards a Permanent Peace System on the Korean Peninsulaと 題した講演でした。夕方には韓国語と英語でそれぞれ3グループに分かれたグループディスカッションがあり、そこで話し合 われた内容は最終日の全体会でのアクションプランとコミュニケの採択にも影響を与えました。

 7日の午後には飛行機で釜山に移動しました。5教会実務者会議に出席するためです。5教会とは韓国のPCK, PROK, KMCと日本のKCCJ,Kyodanを 意味します。8日の午前中は釜山出身のキム・ビョンホ在日大韓基督教会総幹事の計 らいで、国連軍の慰霊施設を訪問しました。朝鮮動乱時には北に追われた群衆が釜山まで逃げてきたことを初めて知りました。アメリカ軍 のマッカーサー司令官の呼びかけで国連軍が組織されますが、その戦争で命を落とした兵士たち一人一人の名が刻まれた墓地に佇み、改め て朝鮮半島のunificationを願う韓国のキリスト者の思いの深さを感じまし た。午後2時からHaesong Presbyterian Churchを会場にして会議が始まりました。出席は8名。教団からは雲然俊美教団書記と私の2名参加でした。今回はお互いが派遣している宣教師の抱える問題とその解決及び問題を起こした宣教師の取り扱いが テーマでしたが、雲然書記からこの会議そのものの開催意義を再確認する必要があるという意見が出されました。次回は11月下旬福岡で開催予定です。

 3月21日 から24日はインドネシア、スラウェシ島北部にあるマナド で開催されたミナハサ福音基督教会の総会に石橋秀雄教団総会議長と共に参加しました。宣教協約を締結する前段階の「覚書」を総会で承 認してもらうためです。ミナハサ福音基督教会はミナハサ州を中心に約950教会、信徒数は約100万人を数えます。総会は4年 に1度、月曜から土曜日まで開かれます。開会礼拝には副大統領が挨拶し たそうですが、残念ながら間に合いませんでした。私たちが到着したのは水曜日の夜12時。しかしまだ会議は続いていました。選挙に時間 がかかります。会場にはおよそ2500人がいて選挙権を持つ人は1800人。不正防止のためインターネット投票を行うのですが、そのためのパソコンが会場には24台しかありません。私が参加した12時半の時点でもパソコンの前には長蛇の列でした。マナドから25キロほど離れたトモホンにある本部で働くプレジデント以下15名のスタッフを選挙で選びます。最終的には木曜日徹夜で選挙して決まりました。私たちが会場を後にした金曜日の午 前9時には、会場のあちらこちらで力尽きて仮眠をとる議員の姿が見られ ました。教会とコミュニティーがこれほど密接な町を初めて見ました。(加藤誠)

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