Pastors and peace activists gathered in Korea are holding a 40-day “fasting prayer” in front of the Busan City Hall.
They are protesting the dangers of nuclear radiation and asking to shut down South Korea’s oldest and incident-prone Kori Nuclear Power Plant, some 20 kilometres from the venue of the forthcoming World Council of Churches (WCC) assembly.
The 35-year-old Kori Nuclear Power Plant has broken down 120 times. There are 3.4 million people living within 30 kilometres of the Kori Power Plant. Local residents fear a meltdown, mindful of the disasters at Fukushima in Japan and Chernobyl in Ukraine.
South Korea has the highest geographic density of nuclear power plants in the world. Korean Christians participating in the fasting prayer want to remind the world’s Christians that the WCC assembly is taking place in the most dangerous part of the world in terms of threats from nuclear power plants and from the nuclear stand-off involving four countries with nuclear weapons – the United Sates, Russia, China and North Korea.
The protesters are asking the WCC assembly to tackle the issue of nuclear weapons and power generation as central to the proposed “ecumenical pilgrimage of justice and peace”.
One of the Busan prayers repents for having “stopped our ears to the dangers of nuclear power generation despite the warning from Fukushima”. Another asks that all Christians “abandon the great catastrophe of nuclear weapons and power plants” and “walk together toward the path of peace” instead.
The 40 day fasting prayer began on 30 September and will end on 8 November 2013, the last day of the WCC assembly, which begins 30 October.
Busan lies just across a strait from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Massive quantities of radioactive water are still seeping into the ocean from the stricken Fukushima plant each day.