ASIA/NORTH KOREA - Christian missionary in prison, "Week of Prayer for Freedom" in North Korea

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - A Christian missionary, an American citizen, will be put on trial in North Korea for "crimes against the nation": this is Jun Young-Su, a lay missionary of the Church of Orange County, California (USA). According to reports from the regime's official news agency, the missionary was travelling in the Asian country in the role of entrepreneur and accomplished religious activities and not authorized proselytism . The U.S. State Department has requested his release for humanitarian reasons. His case recalls that of another American missionary, Robert Park, who went to North Korea during Christmas 2009 to draw world attention on human rights, abuses and religious freedom in the country, he was arrested and then expelled.
To express solidarity and spiritual closeness to the missionary, Christians will mobilize for the "Week of Prayer for Freedom in North Korea," which will be held worldwide from April 24 to 30 . Launched by the Ong, "Open Doors", which publishes an annual report on religious freedom in the world said in a statement sent to Fides that Christians will unite in prayer because "God is not silent and we can intercede with Him because He looks upon the North Korean people" ,
Meanwhile in recent days in Seoul, a network of religious organizations, "Religious Solidarity for Peace and Reconciliation of Korea, has officially asked the South Korean government to resume humanitarian operations in the north, for the benefit of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition . More than 600 religious leaders, Buddhists, Christians and other faiths have signed and delivered a petition calling for Seoul to resume as soon as possibile humanitarian channels. According to the leaders, humanitarian work, which has nothing to do with political reasons, provides, however, a useful channel for dialogue and open contact, where it is easier to discuss and resolve, indirectly, issues of diplomacy. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 04/14/2011)