KCF appoints new leadership


Erich Weingartner with Rev. Hwang Min U, chief minister of Chilgol Church, and Rev. Ri Jong Ro in Pyongyang, November 2012. (Photo by Stuart Lyster)

Erich Weingartner with Rev. Hwang Min U, chief minister of Chilgol Church, and Rev. Ri Jong Ro in Pyongyang, November 2012. (Photo by Stuart Lyster)

We reported last year on the death of Rev. Kang Yong Sop, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Korean Christian Federation (KCF), the only officially authorized Protestant church body in North Korea. (see “North Korean church leader Kang Yong Sop dies“, 23 January 2012)

For more than a year, this vacancy has been unfilled. This morning I received a fax from Pyongyang announcing the appointment of Rev. Kang Myong Chol as the new Chairman of the KCF. Kang Myong Chol had previously served as Chair of the Pyongyang City KCF.

At the same time, Rev. Ri Jong Ro was appointed KCF Vice-Chairman. Ri started in KCF as an interpreter, accompanying Kang Yong Sop at numerous international meetings, as well as visits by KCF delegations to churches around the world. He later studied theology and was ordained. He subsequently served as Director of the KCF International Affairs Department, maintaining relationships with the World Council of Churches and various denominations such as the United Church of Canada.

Text of his fax reads as follows: 

Dear Mr. Erich Weingartner,

Warm greetings from Pyongyang.

I am writing to inform you of the appointment of our KCF Chairman.

I would like to inform you that Rev. Kang Myong Chol, who had worked as Chairman of the Christian Federation of Pyongyang City, was appointed to Chairman of KCF and me to Vice-Chairman of KCF.

Availing myself of this opportunity, I affirm to you that we will value the partnership with you in future too and strive for the peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula in close cooperation with you.

May the Holy Spirit be always full upon your activities for justice and peace.

Sincerely in Christ,

Ri Jong Ro

Vice-Chairman

Korean Christian Federation

July 9, 2013.

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