That plenary began with a visit to the Assembly by Prime Minister Jung Hon-won of the Republic of Korea who brought greetings from President Park and the government of the Republic of Korea to all who made the journey to the Assembly.
Those attending the plenary then heard presentations on peace and justice from three perspectives. One was a presentation on how HIV/AIDS is still an issue of justice as well as one of medicine and how although much progress has been made in its control, so much more must be done to ensure the defeat of the virus as well as the defeat of the stigmas attached to it.
The second perspective was a realistic appraisal of how Christians suffer persecution in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt where Christians churches have been firebombed and priests and parishioners killed. It is to be remembered that many Muslims in Egypt help their Christian neighbors, but terrorists still commit terrible acts of violence against the Christians. This has had one good outcome: the strengthening of ecumenism among the Christian population.
A third view was offered on "Victim Theology" based on the "victim centered decisiveness of God." Here, those who are on the margins are brought in and included in the life of the Church. In fact, they become the center of the Church's activity in the world. They are the victims of powerful political regimes, victims of economic struggle, victims of rape and war. They call out for "Torah justice": widows and orphans, etc.
To this was added a conversation between a young German theologian, Melisande Schifter, and the presenters on what young Christians can do to move the aspirations of the Assembly forward in concrete terms.
All this served to kick off a full afternoon of "Ecumenical Conversations", 21 of which were scheduled, to offer space for dialogue on questions and issues that affect the unity, mission and witness of the Church. These questions and issues require a common ecumenical response. They ranged in topics from theology to witness such as one on the convergence statement "The Church: Toward a Common Vision" to Community of Men and Women in the Church: Mutual Recognition and Transformative Justice.
Another full day in Busan.