The 12th Forum for Christian Unity in Korea
Seeking an orientation for the Korean ecumenical movements in a multi-religious society
The CBCK Committee for Promoting Christian Unity & Interreligious Dialogue (President: Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, Archbishop of Gwangju) held the ‘12th Forum for Christian Unity in Korea’ with the National Council of Churches in Korea (KNCC) and the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea on May 17, 2012 at the Franciscan Education Center in Jeongdong, Seoul. This forum was an occasion to seek an orientation for ecumenical movements in Korean society, which has been becoming more multi-religious.
In his keynote speech, Rev. Lee Hyeoung-ki (emeritus professor of Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary) emphasized the need of a guideline for inter-religious dialogue which can be integrated with the oriental approaches. He presented his study on the document “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, the result of collaboration among the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID), the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and the World Council of Churches (WCC).
Rev. Lee proposed that the Christians and the believers of ‘neighbor religions’ in Korea draw up together a guideline for inter-religious dialogue adapted to the Korean multi-religious society, according to the practical purpose emphasized by the Recommendations. He also stressed the need for mutual and practical solidarity which should be cultivated through inter-religious dialogue for the propagation of the Gospel, the realization of justice and peace, and the integrity of creation, etc.
Rev. Michael Sin Jeong-hun (Professor of the Catholic University of Korea) presented “the Responses of the Catholic Church in Korea” to the Recommendations from the standpoint of the Catholic Church in Korea. He said, “proclamation of the Gospel and inter-religious dialogue are not contingent parts depending on circumstances, but integral parts which are firmly connected to each other for effective evangelization in our times.” From the point of view of the Catholic Church in Korea, Father Sin offered three suggestions; promotion of a relationship on the basis of mutual trust and respect, substantial cooperation for the common good, and a change of attitude toward neighbor religions.
Most Rev. Hyginus Kim said at the beginning of the forum, “When we all, the Catholics, the Protestants and the Orthodox together witness to Christ, seeking and sharing our common heritages rather than finding out our differences, we will propagate the Gospel more strongly."