On Memorial Day, Korean Christian groups remember ultimate sacrifice of those who protected country from communist invasion

By CDI Staff |
Seoul National Cemetery
Seoul National Cemetery | Kys951 / Wikimedia

On the occasion of the 69th Memorial Day, which was celebrated on June 6, 2024, major church institutions issued statements to remember the fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of South Korea and to pass on their spirit to future generations. Below is a summary of the main content of each institution's statement.

The Christian Council of Korea (Representative Chairman: Rev. Seo-yeong Jeong)

The CCK stated, "We remember the fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for the nation and the people, and we recall their noble spirit of sacrifice," adding, "Furthermore, we must all strive to build a better South Korea with strong security and defense on the foundation of their sacrifice."

"Our soldiers shed blood to defend the frontlines during the First and Second Battle of Yeonpyeong, the ROKS Cheonan sinking, and the Yeonpyeong Bombardment," and "We must teach the correct history of the Korean War and North Korea's continuous provocations to prevent historical distortions, and through education, the people should have a stronger sense of security."

The CCK emphasized, "We must remember that the background for us to enjoy freedom, peace, and prosperity is the sacrifice of the fallen heroes who shed their blood for South Korea, and we must not forget the pain and suffering of war and cherish the importance of freedom and peace in our hearts," and added, "We console those who are oppressed and suffering without freedom, and we pray for the freedom of faith and religion in North Korea. We hope for the end of all wars and the restoration of peace everywhere."

The Korea Christian Council (Representative Chairman: Rev. Tae-jin Kwon)

The KCC stated, "When Japan surrendered after the atomic bombs dropped by the United States and we were liberated, President Syngman Rhee proclaimed the Republic of Korea - a free democratic country with people, territory, and sovereignty - to the world based on the Christian founding principle," and added, "Therefore, the founding day is August 15, 1948. North Korea established the Democratic People's Republic of Korea centered on itself on September 9, 1948."

They said, "After that, with the support of the Soviet Union, North Korea started the fratricidal tragedy of the Korean War at dawn on June 25, 1950. The brutal three-year war resulted in the deaths of about 130,000 South Korean soldiers, about 40,000 UN soldiers, and 2.5 million civilians in both North and South Korea," and added, "With their sacrifice, we have defended Christianity and the free Republic of Korea from atheistic materialism and the dictatorship of communist countries."

The KCC emphasized, "We must take pride in the history of the free Republic of Korea, inherit the founding spirit, and strive to pass on the freedom we enjoy to future generations, maintaining a correct historical perspective," and added, "Especially the Korean Church must educate on the founding spirit and freedom, and restore the passion of first love."

The Shalom Nabi (Representative Chairman: Dr. Young-han Kim)

Shalom Nabi stated, "More than 300,000 people were killed in the Korean War to protect the freedom of the Republic of Korea, and there were many national pains such as missing persons and injuries. The bereaved families and their descendants have not forgotten the pain of their sacrifice even for a moment and live with the pain in their hearts," and added, "Their sacrifice carries national pain beyond individual and family suffering. On the upcoming Memorial Day, we must remember the patriotism of those who sacrificed and not only console them but also pass on their spirit of love for the country to future generations."

They said, "For a country to exist, the people, territory, and sovereignty must be preserved. There are patriotic martyrs who sacrificed themselves with love for the country to defend the country from foreign invasions," and added, "In the process of fighting to defend the country, sacrificing one's life is the highest form of patriotism. We must honor the spirit of those who walked the path of sacrifice for the love of the country, putting behind their youth and future success, and future generations must inherit that noble spirit."

Furthermore, they emphasized, "The existence of the Church is possible because the country exists," and added, "In countries like North Korea that advocate communism, there is no freedom of religion. Worshiping, evangelizing, and missionary work to serve God gain strength when a healthy country is maintained. The Korean Church must combine faith education and patriotic education. We must strive for a blessed country of freedom and peace for the present and future generations."

Originally published by Christian Daily Korea. Translated and edited by Christian Daily International staff.