Dr Oh Jae Shik, an ecumenical peace activist from South Korea was remembered by the World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary as “friend of the weak and marginalised”.
Oh died on 3 January in South Korea, at the age of 80. A former WCC staff member, he worked as director of the Commission of the Churches' Participation in Development from 1988 to 1993.
Dr Oh was a member of several peace and justice movements in Asia, and was known as a human rights activist committed to inter-Korean reconciliation and humanitarian aid.
In his condolence message, the WCC General Secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, acknowledged Dr Oh’s work for justice in countries faced with challenges of poverty.
“His commitment and love for the people he served during his years at the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), the WCC and the numerous organisations he sponsored in Korea are a source of inspiration for those who seek to carry on the work of loving one’s neighbour with tenderness and walking humbly with the Lord,” said Dr Tveit.
Dr Oh served at the Social Education Institute of the Korea Christian Academy in Seoul, World Vision, Korea Student Christian Federation and Urban Rural Mission programme of the CCA. He also worked with the Young Men's Christian Association and the National Council of Churches in Korea.
The World Council of Churches is an ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948. Today it brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.