Australian Missionary arrested in North Korea knew risks.

March 1, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

North Korea, February 25, 2014: The wife of an Australian missionary detained in North Korea for distributing Christian leaflets said he knew the risks but “does what he believes God wants him to do”.

John Short (75) was arrested in Pyongyang on 16 February

John Short (75) was arrested in Pyongyang on 16 February

John Short (75) was arrested in the capital, Pyongyang, on 16 February, the day after he arrived in the oppressive country. The Hong Kong-based missionary had gone there with Chinese Christian Wang Chong on a tour organised by a Chinese travel agency.

John’s wife Karen said:

He went [to North Korea] because it is such a dark and difficult place.

He carried little booklets he’s written himself, that he’s had people translate into the Korean language.

John was reported to security officials after he was spotted leaving a Christian leaflet at a Buddhist temple. His bags at the hotel were subsequently searched and further Korean-language Christian pamphlets found. It is illegal in North Korea to spread religious material.

Karen said:

[John] does not live in the realm of “what if I get caught” – otherwise he would never have done the things that he has been doing.

It was the 75-year-old’s second time in North Korea, and he has previously visited other countries that are hostile to Christian activity. He has been arrested three times for evangelising in China. John and Karen run the Christian Book Room publishing firm in Hong Kong, which translates Christian literature and other materials into foreign languages and distributes them across Asia.

John could now face a lengthy jail term. American-Korean Kenneth Bae was sentenced to 15 years hard labour in April for carrying out similar missionary work in North Korea.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government was doing all it could to secure John’s release, but the country does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea; its consular interests there are handled by the Swedish authorities. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade described John’s case as “different and difficult”.

Karen has asked for people to pray for her husband’s safe return.

John’s arrest came the day before the publication of a damming UN report on North Korea, which concluded that the regime of dictator Kim Jong-Un is committing crimes against humanity unparalleled in the contemporary world. The Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Australian Justice Michael Kirby, recommended that the abuses be referred to the International Criminal Court.

The crimes against humanity detailed in the report include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and knowingly causing prolonged starvation. It also said that “there is an almost complete denial of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”, concluding that the regime “considers the spread of Christianity a particularly severe threat”; people caught practising Christianity are severely punished.

– barnabas team

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.