Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The 100th anniversary of the Pyongyang Revival of 1907

I want to share with you some of my research interests.

This year is the 100th anniversary of what is known as the Pyongyang Revival of 1907.

It is not easy for today's world to imagine, especially in times like this, when the name Pyongyang immediately evokes images of nuclear bombs and missiles, but Western missionaries who were active in Northeast Asia in the early 20th century once called Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, the Jerusalem of the East.

It started with a Bible study that took place in Changdaehyun Church in Pyongyang.

During the night of Jan. 14, 1907, pastors and ordinary Christians participating in a Bible study started to repent with tears in public. The wave of repentance lasted until the next day, and the religious fervor soon spread. The event touched off a massive conversion to Christianity and established organized Christian groups across Korea.

In January this year, about 30 leaders of S. Korea’s Protestant communities attended a joint prayer meeting with the North’s Korean Christians Federation at Chilgol Church in Pyongyang. The Protestant communities in two Koreas are planning a joint prayer rally of South and North Korean churches to mark Easter around April 14 and 15, and are discussing the plan with the authorities of the South and the North.

I always hold the theory that Christianity might be the way to solve the North and South Korean conflict and China's cross-strait relation.

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