Members of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox churches in South Korea will meet for a combined prayer service for Christian unity on Easter Sunday, April 15.

The committee for church unity of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), along with the Korean Catholic Bishops' Committee for Promoting Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue, the Korean Orthodox Church, and Korean Lutheran Church, have agreed to hold a Common Easter Prayer for Christian Unity on Easter Sunday at the Korean Orthodox Cathedral in Seoul.

Together these churches represent about 7 million Christians, including 3.5 million Catholics. South Korea's total population is about 47 million, of whom about 28 percent are Christian. The NCCK has eight member churches, including Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans, Evangelicals, the Salvation Army and Assemblies of God. The Korean Orthodox Church is an associate member. Many other churches are linked to the more conservative Christian Council of Korea.

As many Orthodox churches follow a different calendar from Protestant and Catholic churches, in most years there are two differing dates for Easter. But this year the dates coincide. So many of South Korea's Christians are using the opportunity to celebrate Easter together and pray for church unity.

Churches in South Korea have been engaged in discussions about unity for many years, particularly in annual preparations for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year's Easter prayer is a direct result of those long-term discussions.

The Easter prayer meeting is expected to last about 90 minutes, and has the support of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomeos I.

Kim Dong-wan, the general secretary of NCCK, told ENI that the Common Easter ...

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