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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

North Korea Releases Canadian Pastor amid Rising Tensions

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Aug 09
  • Comments

North Korea continues to dominate the news in recent weeks with their threat of using long-range missiles. The nation’s nuclear capabilities are not the only reason it is in the news, however.

According to, North Korea has released a Canadian pastor who had been imprisoned in the country for two and a half years.

A Canadian delegation traveled to North Korea earlier this week to attempt to negotiate the release of South Korean-born Canadian citizen Hyeon Soo Lim.

The office of the Canadian prime minister said Lim’s health was of “utmost importance” to the government.

According to, Lim had pastored the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto before being detained in North Korea while on a humanitarian mission trip.

Lim had been charged and convicted of crimes against the state, including trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean regime. He was given a life sentence, but has been “released on sick bail.”

Lim’s health has reportedly deteriorated while being held by the North Koreans and he has experienced “dramatic” weight loss.

Fortunately, however, Lim was released before his condition became as severe as American student Otto Warmbier who was released from North Korean detainment a couple months ago, but came home in a coma and died shortly after.


Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/alexkuenhi

Publication date: August 9, 2017