More from the World Council of Churches, Busan, South Korea

Yesterday, Friday the day began with a drums, music and song as people gathered.   This was followed by a moving plenary about life in Asia.  Three women told the story about how their lives and how people in Asia are being impacted by globalisation, migration in search of work, exploitation of women, children, and natural resources  with the subsequent devastation to the environment.

In the business session in the afternoon, we heard about the development of the statement on unity and how this could be seen as a "mirror of the Assembly".    The issue of same sex marriage was raised - and this clearly is a divisive issue within the WCC.   Reminds me of Quakers in Canada about 20 years ago.

The other issue that came up in the business meeting on Friday was around a draft statement on the Politicization of Religion and Rights of Religious Minorities.   This will come back again next week for approval.   There are several other public statements in the works, including ones on the Way to Just Peace, Peace and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula and there was also a clear desire by many to have a strong public statement on climate change and indigenous peoples rights.   We'll see what happens.

Yesterday evening, the historic peace churches - Quakers, Brethern and Mennonites - and there are about 30 of us here  - met to put forward some recemmendations to strengthen the Way to Just Peace draft.   We agreed on modifying the paragraph on the Responsibility to Protect, adding some text on conscientious objectors to war, nuclear weapons and a few other areas to strengthen and clarify the document.   These were submitted to the Public Issues committee last night on behalf of us all.

Today, Saturday, I am going by train to Seoul.  We will be met and hosted by the Quakers in Seoul.  I am looking forward to the train ride and seeing some of the countryside.