Archive for July 6th, 2010

From the AP Newswire Report:

Like most North Koreans, Son Jong Nam knew next to nothing about Christianity when he fled to neighboring China in 1998.

Eleven years later, he died back in North Korea in prison, reportedly tortured to death for trying to spread the Gospel in his native land, armed with 20 bibles and 10 cassette tapes of hymns. He was 50.

[...]

Officially, North Korea guarantees freedom of religion for its 24 million people. In practice, authorities crack down on Christians, who are seen as a Western-influenced threat to the government. The distribution of bibles and secret prayer services can mean banishment to a labor camp or execution, defectors say.

For North Koreans, a personality cult surrounding the country’s founder Kim Il Sung and his son and current leader Kim Jong Il serves as a virtual state religion.

“Kim Jong Il is above the country’s law … and in North Korea what he instructs is like Jesus Christ’s words in the Bible,” says Son Jung-hun, a human rights activist who has become a devout Christian since his brother’s death.

Read the whole thing.

While his death occurred in December 2008, we are only now learning of it, and we mourn for our brother in Christ. As Jesus taught, Christians will be persecuted for their faith, with many paying for it with their lives. And since we are, regardless of geography, all part of the Temple Jesus’ rebuilt in three days, we should all mourn when stones within that Temple suffer. Those of us here in the West should also realize that the freedoms we enjoy are a blessing from God, and pray that all could worship Him, serve him and preach in His name in the open.

Shalom.

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