[World Council of the Churches press release] In preparation for the World Council of Churches (WCC) 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea (South Korea), pastors and peace activists in that nation are holding a 40-day “fasting prayer” in front of the Busan City Hall. They are protesting the dangers of nuclear radiation and asking to shut down South Korea’s oldest and incident-prone Kori Nuclear Power Plant, some 20 kilometres from the venue of the WCC assembly.
The 35-year-old Kori Nuclear Power Plant has broken down 120 times. There are 3.4 million people living within 30 kilometres of the Kori Power Plant. Local residents fear a meltdown, mindful of the disasters at Fukushima in Japan and Chernobyl in Ukraine.
South Korea has the highest geographic density of nuclear power plants in the world. Korean Christians participating in the fasting prayer want to remind the world’s Christians that the WCC assembly is taking place in the most dangerous part of the world in terms of threats from nuclear power plants and from the nuclear stand-off involving four countries with nuclear weapons – United Sates, Russia, China and North Korea.
The protesters are asking the WCC assembly to tackle the issue of nuclear weapons and power generation as central to the proposed “ecumenical pilgrimage of justice and peace”.
One of the Busan prayers repents for having “stopped our ears to the dangers of nuclear power generation despite the warning from Fukushima”. Another asks that all Christians “abandon the great catastrophe of nuclear weapons and power plants” and “walk together toward the path of peace” instead.
The 40 day fasting prayer began on 30 September and will end on 8 November, the last day of the WCC assembly, which begins 30 October.
Busan lies just across a strait from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Massive quantities of radioactive water are still seeping into the ocean from the stricken Fukushima plant each day.
Prayers of the Korean ministers and peace activists:
We repent that our lives that have caused catastrophic problems for the ecology and have threatened the survival of all humankind by indiscreet use of nuclear energy;
We repent that we have turned blind eyes and stopped our ears to the dangers of nuclear power generation despite the warning from Fukushima;
We pray that we can turn from the road to nuclear power generation which can be disastrous to ecology and humanity;
We pray that a world of peace is realized and the dignity of life is protected as we convert nuclear energy into renewable natural energy;
We pray that the world’s Christians may abandon the great catastrophe of nuclear weapons and power plants and instead walk together toward the path of peace for all.
[Editor’s note: More than 150 members of the Anglican Communion from around the globe, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, will be attending the WCC Assembly]