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Asia

2011-11-26

ASIA/NORTH KOREA - A spiritual offensive to revive faith in North Korea

Paris (Agenzia Fides) - Today, since the regime denies personal freedom, including religious freedom, it is not possible to send material aid to the faithful Christians in North Korea. "Only God's action, solicited by prayers, can help the Christians there, both practically and spiritually", says the society "Aid to the Church in Need" (ACN), which promotes projects and aid for the faithful Christians who suffer in many countries around the world. Therefore, as reported to Fides, the French section of ACN has launched a "great spiritual offensive" to show closeness and solidarity to the Christians in North Korea. It has to with praying and offering Masses for those that the regime considers "dangerous opponents".
For over 50 years, ACN notes, dictatorship tries to eradicate the Christian faith, applying imprisonment or immediate execution for the faithful. The few survivors from concentration camps describe atrocities and torture. Since 1953, 300,000 Christians have been murdered or interned in concentration camps. All priests and missionaries have been expelled. In spite of this, faith is always present, rooted in the heart of a group of followers: "They have no priest, no Sacrament, they are armed only with a few Bibles, because owning one is punishable by death", remarks ACN in a statement sent to Fides. "But the Spirit continues to blow where it wants" and the hope remains alive recalling the case of Japan: here, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, despite severe persecution, true faith had been handed down from generation to generation, and without clergy,for over 300 years. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 26/11/2011)

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