Time to make two Koreas one again: Korean Christians’ self-reflection and diakonia duties

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As the reunification of South and North Korea has increasingly become imminent since the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, this article aims to provide a critical reflection on South Korean efforts, including Christianity, and suggests some practical ways forward. Starting with the reunification efforts over the last few decades, barriers and catalysts for the reunification, the article argues that both Koreas, adjacent nations and the international world must make a new effort. Within Korea, Christianity has been a catalyst as well as an obstacle for the reunification. The reunification is an opportunity for both Koreas to co-prosper, and not simply a South Korean opportunity to extend its own wealth. Korean Christianity has a special responsibility to reflect on some mistakes that occurred among foreign mission stakeholders in Korea and within Korean Christianity itself. Most of all, Korean Christianity ought to reimagine itself in the lead-up to the reunification and practise diakonia towards fellow North Koreans. A systematic cooperation among some exemplary services for North Korean defectors and the marginalised is a preparatory practice, in addition to diakonia education and implementation within the church and the broader community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-314
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal for the Study of the Christian Church
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018


  • Christianity
  • Reunification
  • Korea
  • diakonia
  • peace

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