Thursday, February 27, 2014

North Korea Imprisons Australian Missionary

The persecution of Jesus Christ continues unabated, in His body on earth, the church.  Today we focus on the detention of an Australian missionary by the Communist government of North Korea.  Last week, following a United Nations report detailing the truly terrible human rights abuses by the North Korean regime (many of which are too gruesome to recount), the Christian world learned from several sources of the detention of John Short, a 75 year old Christian missionary, who, with his wife, has been ministering in Asia for a half century.

From Mark Hager Jr.'s report in Worthy News:

John, a career missionary based in Hong Kong, was traveling to the reclusive nation with a tour group and was arrested in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of Christian materials that had been translated into Korean.

During a Reuters interview, Karen Short said of her husband, “He won't be intimidated by the communists.”

“He's courageous, this is my husband's character,” she said. “I hope things get better – he's in God's hands, we both totally believe that.”

On Monday, the United Nations published a report which condemned North Korea for “crimes against humanity”, and called for the nation to be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The U.N.'s 372-page-report was based on satellite imagery and harrowing testimony gathered from more than 80 victims and witnesses over the past 11 months, which included many who survived after being sent to one of the North Korean prison camps. The report covered a broad range of crimes, which included charges of “extermination,” forced abortions, rape, and widespread abductions.

North Korea is widely regarded as one of the world's worst persecutor of Christians, with as many as 50,000 North Korean Christians believed to be imprisoned in concentration type camps around the country.

Based in Hong Kong, John Short has been arrested several times previously in the past 50 years, in China, for his evangelistic efforts; this is his first arrest in North Korea, and, ironically, came when he was simply visiting the country as part of a tour group.

An online group,, is engaged in a prayer effort by individual Christians around the world.  As a sign of support, Christians can visit this site and leave a prayer, or merely their names, for John, which are forwarded to Karen. (There is no solicitation of financial contributions.)  At that same site, instructions may be found for contacting the North Korean government on John's behalf, as well as an inspiring audio interview with Karen.  If you're a believer, I hope you'll join this effort.

Brother Short now joins Asia Bibi, Saeed Abedini, and so many others who are literally imprisoned for their faith.  Those of us who are their brothers and sisters are commanded not to neglect them:  Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body (Hebrews 13:3).

Other sources:
Australian Christian missionary arrested in North Korea (Reuters)
North Korea Arrests Christian Missionary From Australia (New York Times) 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for drawing awareness to this case! Persecution of Christians crosses every line - young, old, male and female as you've shown on this blog alone, between Brother Short, Brother Saeed and Asia Bibi.