Amid the different political tensions happening around the world, the Catholic bishops of Japan and Korea have released a joint statement calling for peace through dialogue and without resorting to force.
In their commemorative message for the 25th Korean-Japanese Bishops’ Colloquium published on December 12, the prelates of the two countries called on all nations to exercise self-restraint in the name of peace-building efforts.
“Especially in the last three years of the pandemic, the world has become more selfish, exclusionist, and sometimes even violent,” said the bishops. “We call on all people to build a world in which no one is excluded, where all life is carefully protected as a gift from God, and where human dignity is respected.”
They emphasized the urgent need to address the ongoing political tensions in East Asia, where territorial and maritime disputes are the major reasons for conflicts between countries.
The bishops also noted the wars and acts of violence currently happening in Israel, Palestine, and Ukraine.
Furthermore, Korean and Japanese bishops emphasized how today’s unstable world has created many refugees and migrants fleeing their homelands to protect their lives.
“Many have come to Korea and Japan in search of safety and security,” revealed the bishops.
The prelates of both countries vowed to deepen their exchanges, pray together, and support each other in ushering in a truly Synodal Church and establishing God’s peace in the region.
The 25th Korean-Japanese Bishops’ Colloquium took place in Tokyo, Japan, on November 16, 2023.
They started these gatherings in 1996 to exchange opinions and form a common understanding of various issues concerning evangelization and society.
The bishops also consider these dialogues as a way to overcome their “anguished history and advance together toward a bright future filled with justice and peace.”- Luke Godoy
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