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The Korean Church together with the Japanese Church is shocked and frightened at the act of the President Bush's shrine worship at the Meiji Shrine in the morning of Feb. 18, 2002 upholding the flag of the so called a Christian justice and a superpower, for it is an act of idol worship breaking the first, second, and third commandments of the Christian faith. We strongly denounce it.

The President and Mrs. Bush entered into the Meiji Shrine together with the Shinto priest and bowed a big ceremonial bow and worshipped idol. Even though the Premier Junichiro Koizumi was originally to accompany the President Bush, he did not accompany and worship because he was said to have worried about the critical public opinion of the Japanese. Yet, the President who claims himself a Christian committed the sin of idol worship defying the strong warning and advice of the Japan Evangelical Association. The act was also an act of betrayal cruelly breaking down the honorable Christian tradition cherished by many Korean, Japanese and Asian Christian believers going through various sufferings over against the Shinto shrine worship.

The Japan Evangelical Association announced a statement of denounce on Feb. 19 as the followings. We regret very much that the President Bush defied the warning and advice of the Japanese Church. We question and doubt about the personal faith of the President. We denounce the self-justified American way of thinking of indifference and insensitivity to the people of the world. We especially denounce Mr. Bush's words and acts of defiance about the feeling and sentiments of the Korean people. We worry that Mr. Bush's act of Shinto shrine worship might justify the act of Shinto shrine worship and thus weaken the Christian cause in Japan.

The President Bush also did wrong in that he upheld high the militaristic and capitalistic flag of a so called a just superpower, took a self-justified and autocratic attitude of ruling, condemning and punishing the world at random and thus intensified the conventional cold war spirit. We wish that the Bush administration would recover the Christian spirit of faith exalting God as well as the Christian spirit of love embracing the poverty and disaster of the world before taking an attitude of punishing evils. We pray that the United States of America today would be born to be the USA of the past which did shine the light of hope and love to the world.

Rev. Kim Ki Soo, president of Christian Council of Korea ( [email protected] )

Rev. Kim Myung Hyuk, chairman of Korea Evangelical Fellowship ( [email protected] )

Prof. Son Bong Ho, chairman of Christian Ethics Movement of Korea ( [email protected] )