South Korea clamps down on missionary activity after Trump peace talks
Missionary activity is an unexpected casualty of the denuclearisation peace talks on the Korean peninsular.
In an effort to avoid jeopardising the talks, South Korea has clamped down on evangelistic practices such as sending Bibles and tracts on USB drives across the border by balloon launches into North Korea.
Shortly before last month’s historic summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un this long-standing missionary activity was banned by South Korea to avoid upsetting their northern neighbour.
Eric Foley with Voice of the Martyrs Korea said: “What we’re facing now is a complete blockade for balloon launches and the [government’s] justification for it … is that it ‘fouls the air for peace’.
“For many years in our work the government has said ‘not now, wait, don’t do anything to bother North Korea.’ And now, unfortunately, the international community is kind of supporting that rationale,” he added.
Christian defector Jung Kwang-il, founder of a group called No Chain, revealed in September 2017 that GPS tracking confirmed that thousands of Bible-filled flash drives, donated by US students, were successfully dropped into North Korean territory.
North Korea is routinely ranked as one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian. Believers have been known to have been executed simply for owning a Bible and many have to keep their faith completely secret. Those who do gather to pray risk death or life-long-imprisonment, often in the harsh conditions of a political labour camp.