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A Different Ingredient amidst Rising Tensions in Korea and Northeast Asia

April 4, 2013

With tensions rising in Northeast Asia, I’m so grateful for these friends who defy the status quo:

One friend informs me that, as I write, their organization is in North Korea  pursuing long-term medical work.  I traveled with this group to North Korea in 2011 and remarkable openings for them continue.  This kind of direct engagement by ordinary U.S. citizens with North Korea is critical to offer a different presence and a different face that defies half truths and tit-for-tat from any direction. Call it obedient hospitality for the stranger, call it loving enemies, call it faithfully receiving hospitality, call it leaning into the humanity of every human being, call it naiveté  – whatever you call it, it is what Christians should be doing right now “as sheep in the midst of wolves … as wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

Also, see these recent interviews with three transcendent voices.  Each was part of our December 2012 consultation at Duke on “Northeast Asia, Christian Leadership, and the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation”:

Syngman Rhee:  Christianity in Korea Can Be a Catalyst for Reconciliation

Katsuki Hirano:  Don’t Be Afraid to Become a Minority

Xi Lian:  Let Go, and Let the Church Develop in Its Own Way

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