On 28 February 2013, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia received a delegation of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in St Daniel’s Monastery.
The Korean delegation included the Rt Revd Paul Keun-Sang Kim, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of Korea, president of the National Council of Churches in Korea; Rev. Dr. Young-Ju Kim, NCCK general secretary; protopresbyter Daniel Kha (Patriarchate of Constantinople); Rev. Dr. Dal Ig Son, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Korea; Rev. Dr. Hyun Sub Um, president of the Lutheran Church in Korea; and staff members of the NCCK International Committee.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill greeted the guests, saying in particular, “The Russian Orthodox Church and the Christian Churches in South Korea have been maintaining long-term cooperation. Our Church took an active part in the international movement aimed at the reunification of North and South Korea, so called Tozanso Process, which started in 1984 under the aegis of the World Council of Churches.”
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church thanked representatives of the South Korean Churches for the aid these Churches had rendered to the Holy Trinity and St Sergius Laura in the early 1990s in purchasing printing equipment for setting up a publishing and printing complex.
His Holiness emphasized the importance of the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches due to be held this autumn in the town of Busan at the invitation of the Christian Churches in South Korea. Patriarch Kirill believes that this event is supposed to make a considerable contribution to the reunification of the Korean people.
Members of the Korean delegation thanked His Holiness Patriarch Kirill for hospitality and the opportunity to learn about the life of the Russian Orthodox Church. The representatives of the Korean Churches expressed their desire to develop students exchange between educational institutions of the two countries. It would mean, in particular, that professors of the Moscow Patriarchate’s theological schools could be sent to South Korea for delivering lectures on Orthodoxy. The guests told Patriarch Kirill that the deep interest shown in the Russian Orthodox tradition in South Korea is prompted by the fact that the first missionaries had come to Korea from Russia.
Taking part in the meeting on the part of the Russian Orthodox Church were Hegumen Philaret (Bulekov), vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for far abroad countries; and DECR staff members: Rev. Alexander Vasyutin, Mr. Dmitry Petrovsky, and Ms Margarita Nelyubova.