Friday, August 28, 2009

North Korea - Short-Lived Joy

North Korean church history continues...

The ultimate surrender of Japan finally comes. The Empire is crushed and humiliated. That's not meant to be critical. Or defamatory. It really happened, and it happened a long time ago. Today's Japan is not yesterday's.

Koreans are ecstatic, and rush into the streets to celebrate. What glory! What joy! Their longtime enemy defeated! One can hear Christians raising up praises to God, singing hymns loudly that they have been forbidden to sing at all. Worship, witness, all restored after 35 long years of oppression.

But in the North, not from the East, comes the next blow against Korea. Due to a decision made far from Korea by persons definitely not Korean, the land of Chosun is to be divided into two parts, "temporarily." The Soviets will be asked to supervise activities in the northern part of the country, and America will restore order to the southern section.

Naive American policy places a division line roughly half way down the peninsula that has remained to this day. The Soviets decide they will not leave, not at least until they have a government established that resembles Moscow. In 1948, two separate Korean governments are formed, and the persecution begins again in the North, where Christ has made the largest inroads.

Five million people, many of them believers, get out of the "paradise" before it can turn into the chaos that will evolve over the decades. At least in the South the President seems to be a Christian, and there they will worship freely. Then, nearly 60 years ago now, the curtain closes. Christian blood begins to flow freely once more. The persecution has continued until now.

Many thousands of Christ's followers are killed and/or placed in forced labor camps. And unlike in the Japanese occupation, the goings-on become very private. Even now, not too many people know what is happening in North Korea. For "liberty" in that land means that the government is "free" to do as it pleases.

What a tragic history is the Korean one. What a lot to pray about. is a website I put together a few months back to get the word out to believers that they need to pray for North Korea. Just about every day I'm writing a blog featuring some news, a book, or a story of North Korea. There's a live news feed on the site, lists of resources, picture essays, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together!

And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. Who are you? Would love to fellowship with believers who respond on my site.

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