faith in action

Pilgrimage for peace on the Korean Peninsula

Peace on the Korean Peninsula was the impetus for a 10-day long pilgrimage to South Korea.

A group of 14 people participated in a 10-day long pilgrimage to South Korea for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The group was diverse in many ways. While most of the pilgrims came from the Wisconsin Annual Conference, the rest joined from Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee.

The group consisted of five active clergy, one retired clergy, and eight lay members, including one young adult who just began serving in Seoul as a Mission Fellow of the General Board of Global Ministries. Not only were natives of South Korea who led the pilgrimage in the group, but there were also African-American, Hispanic, and German-born clergy participants.

The purpose of the pilgrimage was to experience the division of the two Koreas, which is a vestige of the Cold War Era, and to engage with Christians of South Korea in their work for peace and reconciliation.

The pilgrims traveled across the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, from an island off the west coast of the peninsula to the most northeastern tip sharing the border with North Korea. The pilgrimage provided the participants with experiences to realize three things:

  1. How catastrophic another war would be in the land.
  2. How desperate people want for a peaceful coexistence of the two Koreas.
  3. How complex the issue is with the conflict between their wounded hearts and the powerful influence of the U.S. in the peninsula.

The prayers for peace had deepened in the hearts of the pilgrims as they learned more about the history of Korea and as they met and engaged in dialogue and meal-sharing with Koreans of different generations.