August 16-17, 2000
volume 11, no. 142

NEWS for Wednesday-Thursday, August 16-17, 2000

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (FIDES/

    In a message dated August 15-- which is both the feast of the Assumption and the national holiday of Korea-- Archbishop Nicholas Cheong of Seoul has called for special prayers for the country, both North and South.

    Archbishop Cheong said that the Marian feast and national holiday (which celebrates the anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan) should be the occasion for a new national commitment to "genuine liberation, unification, and prosperity."

    August 15 is also the date set for the first meeting for separated Korean families: a hundred persons from the north and a hundred from the south, representing families divided 50 years ago by the Korean War. Seoul government statistics indicate that there are more than 1.2 million people belonging to families divided by the war; their children number about 7 million. This year, for the first time since the war, these families will be able to travel across the boundary that divides North and South Korea to attend family reunions.

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