10 July, 2006

Rick's Purpose?

Here are some not so nice facts about North Korea where Rick Warren plans to go on the 17th of this month to plan for his preaching visit in 2007. After reading up on North Korea's persecution of Christians, I have to wonder what is Rick's purpose? Since Rick has declined to even mention Jesus when he has the ear of media like PBS, Fox News and Ladies Home Journal, can we expect him to proclaim Christ in North Korea?

The following was taken from Voice of the Martyrs website: http://www.persecution.com/

Ideological Influence: One-man dictatorship with communist influence.

The country’s previous leader, Kim Il Sung, founded an ideology called “Juche,” meaning self-reliance, which is enforced in every aspect of the culture by the ruling elite.

Head of State: Kim Jong Il, the son of deceased leader Kim Il Sung

Persecution: All religions have been harshly repressed. Many thousands of Christians have been murdered since the Korean War. In 1953, there were about 300,000 Christians; however, the number has reduced to a few thousand today. Christians must practice their faith in deep secrecy and are in constant danger.

Missionary Opportunity: There are three churches in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, but they are only for show. Many North Koreans have fled to China, some of them Christians, and have been known to return to North Korea to share the gospel. Any North Korean sent back by the Chinese government faces almost certain death. Despite the harsh conditions Christians face in North Korea, the Lord is adding to their numbers daily.

Widespread famine in North Koran has caused over two million deaths. Reports of cannibalism, of emaciated babies, and of people foraging for grass and bark continue to reach the outside world. All dogs, cats and even rats have been eaten in an attempt to survive. Thankfully, because of the flooding and famine that have swept this nation, North Korea's isolationist government has been forced to open its borders to humanitarian aid from foreign countries.

Witnessing in North Korea: Orange vinyl bags, which have been printed with Korean Bible verses, are filled like balloons with helium and launched by night from areas so they will land in North Korea. The Voice of the Martyrs has launched hundreds of thousands of these scripture balloons since the first launch over 20 years ago. So not only food for the body but also food for the spirit is delivered to North Korea.

Radios in this government-controlled nation are adapted to receive only the government stations. Advice on how to alter these radios is smuggled in so that Koreans may hear the gospel. VOM helps to finance radio broadcasts of scripture.

Example of Persecution: Soon Ok Yi was imprisoned in a prison camp in Pyong An Nam-do province from 1987-1992, and though not a Christian at the time, she witnessed the execution and persecution of many Christians. Christians were often assigned to do the most difficult tasks in the camp such as clean up human excrement and work in front of an extremely hot furnace used for casting iron. One day she witnessed eight Christian prisoners being killed with molten iron poured on them from a furnace, yet the Christians were quiet and peaceful as they died.

Maybe Rick can use his gravitas with Kim Jong Il to find out what happened to Kim Dong-shik, a South Korean pastor abducted by North Koreans six years ago.

Acts 20:25-27
25"Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.

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