American Christian May Face Death Penalty in North Korea
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Apr 30
North Korean officials announced Saturday that detained American citizen Kenneth Bae will be tried before the country's Supreme Court on charges of plotting to overthrow the government, WORLD reports. If convicted, Bae could face the death penalty. According to media accounts, Bae is thought to be a Christian missionary linked with an Ohio organization called The Joseph Connection, tough all reference to his faith connections appear to have been removed recently from the Internet. North Korea is known for its brutality toward Christian missionaries, and evangelism in the country is a serious crime. Bae has been in North Korean custody since early November after being arrested by officials in Rason, a zone which borders China and Russia. The exact nature of his alleged crimes has not been revealed, but North Korea accuses Bae, described as a tour operator, of seeking to overthrow the country's leadership. According to friends and colleagues, Bae is a devout Christian from Washington state, based in the Chinese border city of Dalian, who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed orphans. At least three other Americans detained in recent years have also been devout Christians.