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TOPIK calls for peace and reconciliation in Korea


Seeing its work as a model for areas “where conflict persists,” the international Anglican conference Towards Peace in Korea (TOPIK) concluded its seven-day meeting with a call for action for peace and reconciliation in Korea.

“Constructive dialogue is the first step in the process of reconciliation,” noted the communique, released on November 20.

Responding to a resolution from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and hosted by the Anglican Church of Korea, TOPIK drew more than 100 Koreans and nearly 50 international Anglicans from 17 nations, including: Korea, Japan, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Aotearoa New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, Palestine, Cyprus, Myanmar/Burma, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.

Asking both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea “to recognize that each has much to offer the other, beyond economic resources,” TOPIK attendees “commend to both governments the need for common space to support education programs for young people from both countries.”

Among the series of recommendations were:

* suggesting Anglicans to work with the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, to provide theological and ministry formation programs in conflict resolution, and to develop parish-based peace training programs.
* recommending the Anglican Church of Korea to organize another peace conference “which would include a wider range of participation, particularly from North Koreans, young people, women, those of other faiths and those from regions under-represented at this conference.”

It also called for establishing and encouraging peace education programs.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori led an Episcopal Church delegation to TOPIK which included the Rev. Canon Brian Grieves, director of Peace and Justice ministries; Peter Ng, partnership officer for Asia and the Pacific; and the Rev. Dr Charles Robertson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop.


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