Your Holiness, Pope Francis,
The “Association for the Bereaved Families of the 4.3 Victims” and the “Memorial Committee for the 70th anniversary of the Jeju April 3rd Massacre” are writing to you today to request a message of peace and comfort for the bereaved families of the Jeju April 3rd Massacre. This year marks the 70th year of the Jeju April 3rd Massacre.
The April 3rd Massacre which took place in 1948 was a tragic incident during the uprising of Jeju islanders between 1 March 1947 and 21 September 1954. This was a chaotic period right after the independence from Japan and the Korean Peninsula was in the middle of the Cold War. Some people, including the first President of South Korea and the US government, wanted to establish a separate government in South Korea while others wanted to establish a unified country with the North. Jeju islanders courageously stood up against the division of the Korean peninsula and strongly protested against the first election which formed the Republic of Korea in the South in 1948. Unfortunately, military and police officers severely cracked down on Jeju islanders and around 30,000 people (10% of Jeju's total population) lost their lives during this period.
Even though innocent Jeju islanders were brutally massacred by the unjust state authorities at that time, the truth about the responsibility of the massacre has not been revealed by the state and the reputation of the victims has not been restored. If Your Holiness Pope Francis can deliver a message of peace and comfort to the bereaved families of the Jeju April 3rd Massacre and Jeju islanders while commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Jeju April 3rd Massacre, it would be a great consolation and support for the bereaved families. We do hope Your Holiness Pope Francis’s message can be delivered by video message or can be read by proxy. We sincerely ask for your positive reply.