North Korea (MNN) — We’ve heard the stories. Thousands of North Korean Christians have been killed for their faith. Many more are in work camps. Today we have a chilling story of the callousness of the North Korean government.
President of the World Bible Translation Center Gary Bishop says North Korean Christians are becoming increasing uneasy about possessing a Bible. Bishop just sobering news from their worker there. “A man that’s known to be an evangelist. He’s probably not an evangelist to anyone other than his family members, but he was caught with two of our Korean New Testaments in his possession and he was executed for that.”
This is just one of many stories coming out of North Korea, says Bishop. “A North Korean Army General who became a believer and was trying to evangelize some of the people in his unit, was executed by a fellow officer.”
Another story included a women who was washing clothes, “She bent over to rinse her clothes. A New Testament fell out. Somebody reported it and both she and her grandmother were quickly executed.”
According to Bishop, there’s no sign of the persecution easing any. “What you have is a leader who is proclaiming himself to be god. It’s prescribed that they daily worship him. And, refusal to do that and being caught worshiping God just brings that kind of governmental response. And, as best we can tell the tempo of that is not lessening.”
Bishop says it’s obvious what that increasing pressure on Christians is doing to Bible smuggling. “It becomes more and more difficult to get a person to risk their life to carry those in to North Korea.” With rivers frozen, it’s a prefect time to smuggle Bibles into the country.
Despite the oppression, there are positive signs, says Bishop, God seems to be working. “In response to a very, very oppressive government (and) human injustices people are looking for an answer other than their own government. And, I believe that’s awakening the resilience of believers in North Korea to say, ‘we have another answer. There is another way to believe.’”
While persecution continues, World Bible Translation Center has no intention of stopping the flow of Bibles into the country. “We do need to begin reprinting and get text ready as God enables people to take those in.”
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