Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Missionary Still Locked Up in North Korea, but US Isn't Giving Up

  • Religion Today Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Mar 07

Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae has been detained by the North Korean government for more than a year, reports Charisma News, but the United States is hopeful about his case. Two trips to North Korea planned by Ambassador Robert King have been cancelled, and King admits that the U.S. is unsure whether to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court (a move that could be blocked by China, a chief ally of North Korea). Last month the United Nations panel reported on many crimes against humanity taking place in North Korea that “evoked Nazi-era atrocities.” The North Korean response to the U.N. findings was denial, and officials claim that the findings were based on “lies and fabrications” from hostile sources. Bae is currently serving a 15-year sentence of hard labor after being charged with attempts to “overthrow the state.”

Australian missionary John Short, however, was freed this week after being arrested in North Korea last month for distributing religious literature. North Korea made the decision to deport Short back to his home after considering his advanced age (he is 75) and a note he wrote apologizing for his actions.