By Rachael Lee, Christianity Daily.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) approved several overtures during the 222nd General Assembly last week relevant to the Korean community, two which involve historical and political issues related to the Korean peninsula.
One overture was regarding an incident that occurred in 1950 in No Gun Ri, South Korea, where some 150 or more Korean civilians were killed by American troops.
This Overture 12-01, which was submitted by the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse, acknowledges that the incident occurred, and calls on the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly to request statements from the President and Congress of the U.S. in which they also acknowledge the responsibility of the U.S. military for the incident, they apologize and express regret, and they express commitment to inform military troops about such incidents as No Gun Ri during training “to diminish the likelihood of such events happening in the future.”
It also calls on the staff of the Presbyterian Mission Agency to communicate with the Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK) and Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) to “offer condolence,” “create a bibliography of resources about the events at No Gun Ri,” “create worship materials to remember the people impacted by the events at No Gun Ri,” “share the bibliography and worship materials and this overture and rationale electronically with the congregations and presbyteries,” and “explore possibilities for joint prayer and witness regarding continuing tensions on the Korean peninsula, in the South China Sea.”
The overture originally also included portions that would have required the PCUSA to arrange a reconciliatory meeting between the surviving victims of the incident and the U.S. soldiers who were present at the incident, and for the PCUSA to cooperate with the Korean Presbyterian denominations to establish a memorial church, both which were taken out in the final version.