Young Christians in South Korea Are Apathetic About Reunification

“In my lifetime, I have never heard a church talk about reunification or peace between North and South Korea.”

Solga Kim grew up singing the popular Korean folksong “Our Wish Is Reunification.”

Part of the lyrics goes like this: “Reunification carried out with all heart and soul / Reunification will revive our nation.” But the tune’s heartfelt desire for peace and unity between North and South Korea does not seem to be a melody that the Korean church often sings today.

“‘Peace’ in the Bible in Korea is often translated as personal inner peace, and it is rare for churches to preach the peace of the Bible in connection with the relationship between North and South Korea,” said Kim, a teacher who lives in Incheon, South Korea.

“In my lifetime, I have never heard a church talk about reunification or peace between North and South Korea.”

The two countries have been divided since July 27, 1953, when an armistice agreement was signed at the close of the Korean War that called for all military forces to be withdrawn, hostile activity to be suspended, and prisoners of war to be repatriated. The two countries, however, have never signed a peace treaty and are technically still at war.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the armistice agreement. But today, reunification seems more like a pipe dream as young generations of South Koreans are becoming increasingly disinterested in being part of a unified Korea.

While interviews and surveys by CT suggest that Christians in South Korea are largely supportive of reunification, they hold differing ideas about how to accomplish it. Gen Z and millennial Christians—otherwise known in Korea as the MZ generation—are lackluster in their support due to social and economic pressures. Korean churches also lack consistent effort and …

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