On 26 December 2022, Council for World Mission (CWM) General Secretary, Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum visited a memorial altar installed by bereaved families of the victims of the Itaewon disaster in Seoul to offer his condolences, accompanied by Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK), Rev. Soon Chang LEE.

During the visit, Dr Keum comforted the bereaved families at the altar located at Itaewon Square near the site of the accident, which had occurred on the fateful night of 29 October 2022 during a Halloween celebration. The CWM General Secretary said, “We will share the pain of the victims and bereaved families of the Itaewon disaster with the churches around the world so that they can pray together.”

Following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in South Korea, massive crowds had gathered for the first Halloween celebration held in three years in the Itaewon district of Seoul, and an unfortunate stampede occurred, resulting in at least 354 casualties.

“God is with us to bear our pains and Christians all over the world are in sorrow with the same heart. CWM families will be with the Korean churches and people in our prayers and cooperate in anything that helps,” added Dr Keum.

Mr. Lee Jong-cheol, president of ‘10.29 Itaewon Disaster Bereaved Family Council’ said, “It is a great comfort to visit and encourage us in person. The Itaewon disaster is an unsafe social structural problem and should never happen again.”

(Photo: Kidokkongbo, PCK)

Dated 3 January 2023