Presbyterians Today

FEB-MAR 2018

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Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 37 Korea. She joined the peace delega- tion on the recent visit. It was her second time to visit the museum, which opened in 2012. "I've been here a couple of times, and it doesn't get any easier," Mason said. "When we hear about war, it's always something that men do, but women's bodies are a battlefield too, and the battle is happening in lots of places around the world. I don't think we can begin to realize the strength it takes to harbor this anger for so many years and remain silent. I don't know how they lived with it." The Rev. Howard Kim, pastor of the Korean Presbyterian Church of South Bay in Gardena, California, was born in Korea, but it was his first time at the museum. "I felt strong humility for what had been done and that we can still repeat those kinds of inhumane acts against fellow human beings other places in the world. It was sad and depressing," he said. Fund created to help women All around the museum are images of yellow butterflies, which represent the Butterfly Fund, a fund to help women who have been victims of sexual slavery. The fund was founded by two halmoni — Kim Bok-dong and Gil Won-ok — on March 8, 2012. Appropriately, March 8 is also International Women's Day. Today the Butterfly Fund is supporting women who have suffered sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Vietnam. The butterfly was chosen as a symbol of hope to women suffer- ing from sexual violence in armed conflicts. As the museum's printed materials explain, "The butterfly rep- resents our wish that all the women in agony, including the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery, would be able to spread their wings free from discrimination, repression and violence." The PC(USA) peace del- egation traveled to South Korea in response to Overture 12-01 and Commissioners' Resolution 12-13, adopted at the 222nd General Assembly (2016) in Portland. The overture called for acknowledging the U.S. military's role in the No Gun Ri killings and sought various measures geared to reconciliation. The resolu- tion advocated reunification of the Korean Peninsula and asked the denomination to designate a day of prayer to that end. Leading the delegation was the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk of the Office of the General Assembly (OGA). He was joined by the Rev. Jose Luis Casal, director of Presbyterian World Mission; the Rev. Robina Winbush, assistant stated clerk and director of OGA's office of ecumenical relations, and the Rev. Mienda Uriarte, coordinator of World Mission's Asia-Pacific office. The Rev. Ed Arnold and the Rev. Ed Kang, members of Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery and originators of the overture, also attended, along with several other OGA and Presbyterian Mission Agency representatives. Kathy Melvin is director of Mission Communications for the Presbyterian Mission Agency. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Human trafficking is a modern-day slavery of global proportions. Trafficking is not something that happens only in economically depressed countries; across the globe there is an underground network that brings humans to those who demand labor, services and sex. The International Labour Organization esti- mates that there are at least 12.3 million children, women and men in forced or bonded labor and commercial sex servitude at any given time. Even in the United States, it is estimated that every year approximately 17,000 people are trafficked into the country and an unknown but significant number of American citizens are sold into sex slavery. To learn more, go to /ministries/compas sion-peace-justice/human-trafficking and download A Toolkit for Action: Modern Slavery. This resource includes statistics, stories, a study session and posters to help guide and educate congregations. KATHY MELVIN An empty chair next to a statue of a "comfort woman" reminds visitors of those women who have not shared their stories.

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