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The Pulse of Pain and Hope in Northeast Asia: A Photographic Journey

May 14, 2012

Conversation with Japanese educators, theologians, and church leaders

My recent 18 days in South Korea, China, and Japan were rich – see photo links below.  I was there with the Center for Reconciliation, exploring possibilities for deeper connections in the ministry of peace and reconciliation.  Experiences included a lively visit with former Korean “comfort women” trafficked across Asia to service Japanese soldiers with sex, who for 20 years have led weekly protests in Seoul for restorative justice; a peace center at the edge of the North/South Korea DMZ “demilitarized” zone; a remarkable sign of hope at a Korean church in a Tokyo slum; a rich conversation with Japanese Christian scholars and theologians; Nagasaki, site of early Christian witness and martyrdom, aggression against Korea, atomic bomb victim; Beijing visits with Christian leaders from many sectors.  The rise of China and Christianity’s growth and complexities there; the South Korean church both sending out missionaries and declining in growth; historical and continuing U.S. power (30,000 troops stationed in South Korea); intensifying realities of migrants and diversity; the region’s growing militarization; the challenge of healing historic wounds between Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and Americans – in all this we heard a cry for a deeper work of reconciliation.

Northeast Asia Part 1: Korea

Northeast Asia Part 2: Tokyo

Northeast Asia Part 3: Nagasaki

Northeast Asia Part 4: Beijing

See also:  “Seeing Hope, Even in North Korea” on Duke Divinity School web site

About the Author: Chris Rice is director of the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation. He is author of Reconciling All Things, Grace Matters, and More Than Equals. He writes at the blog Reconcilers.

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