8th assembly/50th anniversary

Together on the Way
7.5. Kim Dae-Jung, President of the Republic of Korea

I am very pleased that the World Council of Churches is holding its eighth assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe, this year. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the participants.

Since the end of the second world war and throughout the cold war, the WCC has consistently strived to seek unity among all churches and realize justice, peace and freedom of conscience for all individuals. The Council's keen interest in -- and solidarity with -- the politically persecuted as well as citizens of the third world and elsewhere have proved a major force for a better future. South African President Nelson Mandela's visit to the WCC assembly is testimony to all the Council has done for those who have undergone trials and tribulations, including myself.

On the occasion of this WCC assembly, I make special note of the fact that the Council has stood with the churches, intellectuals, students and other people of Korea during their long years of struggle to achieve democracy and reunification. I will be forever thankful for the solidarity and support it extended to me all those years that I was in agony. It is with a sense of utmost happiness that today I am able to report that Korea is now being transformed into a more just and democratic country.

I earnestly hope that this assembly, being held at the threshold of a new century in human history, will be a festival of abundant blessings. In that way, it will continue to inspire all peoples and enhance their lives.

Respectfully yours,

Kim Dae-jung
2 December 1998

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