At this time of grave concern over the health threats, we would like to inform and invite you to pray together.
When there is a pandemic, people are naturally alarmed and swayed by panic, and even hatred. They will look for scapegoats and xenophobia spreads with the disease. Now the global health is at risk due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the 2020 Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia is also watching the whole situation closely.
In China, thankfully, the spread is more under control and there are less confirmed patients each day. In South Korea, however, there is an uncontrollable outbreak, which is largely due to an extreme sectarian group called New Heaven and Earth. There are more than 300,000 followers in the group, and they have been notoriously deceptive in their outreach. They have ardent members called “harvesters” and they hide their identity and infiltrate into regular churches, and due to this secretive nature of their evangelistic tactic, they are not willing to share their list of affected patients. Now there are growing anger and hatred towards them among the public and Christians. With the pandemic, hatred grows as well.
In this kairos of widening division and growing hatred, we are preparing for the Reconciliation Forum. We still don’t know how furthermore the extent of the disease will affect us. We have no room for either optimism or pessimism at present, but we turn to God for his mercy and healing.
Let us pray for a speedy control of this virus outbreak. Pray for the Forum would be able to welcome participants from each country invited. Pray for the fearful people to realize their limits and come to a humble dependence on God. Here are some of the guidelines for the invited participants:
1. There is no plan to cancel or postpone the Forum as of now. However, we postpone the registration deadline to the end of March, so please register now and make your payment at the end of March. You can book your flights after that. In case the Forum is canceled or your trip is not allowed due to this outbreak after that, the registration fee will be refunded to you.
2. Please pray regularly for the virus outbreak to be under control and for the Forum to be hosted as planned. Pray that the travel bans or advisories to be lifted for us to travel freely.
It is a great joy and honor to walk with all of you in this journey of standing in the gap, and look forward to welcoming you to the Forum in June.