Hundreds March for Peace in Jerusalem

Hundreds of Korean Christians marched from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and called for peace in the region to show solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians, according to organizers of the annual procession.

Joined by Israel’s Minister of Tourism Avraham Hirchson, other Israeli dignitaries, and local residents, a contingent of Korean Christians who are in Israel led the second annual procession from Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood to to the Palestinian side of Bethlehem and prayed next to a section of the separation barrier.

“It is an expression of our desire to see peace and harmony in the Land of Israel,” said Joshua Kim, one of the event’s organizers, according to the Epoch Times.

Israel’s Minister of Tourism added, “The Peace March is a sign of hope for all people in the region and is an example of what is possible when we all work together.”

Last year, around 2,300 South Korean Christians participated in the first annual march to convey a message of peace to Israelis and Palestinians, disregarding warnings from their government not to travel to the nation of Israel for security reasons.

Singing such Christian songs as "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know" in Korean, the throngs of South Korean Christians – young and old – walked through the streets of the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo and crossed over "Checkpoint 300" into the Palestinian area of Bethlehem on what they called the "March for Peace."

According to the Epoch Times, this year’s march followed a similar route and culminates Korean Cultural Week, which is taking place in Jerusalem August 7-10. Korean arts, music, martial arts, traditional face painting and tea ceremonies are being showcased at sites across the capital.

The march also comes as anticipation and anxiety in the region run high, with Israel’s planned pullout of Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip slated to begin on Aug. 15.