John Short, the 75-year-old Christian missionary who was recently freed from imprisonment in North Korea, said remembering Bible scriptures helped him through his "grueling" 13-day investigation by government authorities.
"There were two-hour sessions each morning, which were repeated again in the afternoons," Short, originally from South Australia, told the Australian Associated Press, adding that he was also kept under 24-hour guard watch for the duration of his imprisonment.
The 75-year-old Christian missionary, who has resided in Hong Kong since 1964, told the news agency that the interrogations were especially difficult because he is an avid walker, and being forced to sit in an enclosed room all day really took a toll on his physical health. "This I found to be most painful physically as an active senior person," he said. "I missed my freedom to walk very much." more >>
Brunei's teachers and principals are reportedly threatened with prison time and punishment if they teach or speak to Muslim children about religions others than Islam, due to the country's upcoming implementation of Sharia law, which will also apply to Muslim children who attend Christian schools.
Fides News Agency noted on Thursday that starting April, it will be a crime to "persuade, influence, incite, encourage a child with non-Islamic teaching," as well as to "expose the child to any ceremony or act of worship which is not Islamic or allow the child to participate in activities for the benefit of other religions," with offending teachers facing five years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
The local Catholic Church said the restrictions will also be applied to Christians schools attended by Muslim students. more >>
North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un has reportedly ordered the execution of 33 people for converting to Christianity and receiving money from a South Korean Baptist missionary to start 500 underground churches.
An unidentified source told The Chosunilbo that the 33 converts will be executed in a secret cell at the State Security Department on charges that they were trying to overthrow North Korea's regime by establishing the underground churches.
Kim Jung Wook, the Baptist missionary involved in the affair, was reportedly arrested for allegedly trying to plant the underground churches last year. more >>
A 75-year-old Australian missionary, John Short, who was arrested in North Korea last month allegedly due to his Christian work, reached Beijing Monday after he was released by authorities. American Christian Kenneth Bae remains in a labor camp despite his illness.
Short was received at a Beijing airport by Australian embassy officials Monday, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
"The Government has confirmed through the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang that Mr. Short has been released and was being deported from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement. "Clearly this is welcome news for Mr. Short, his family and his supporters. Australian consular officials stand ready to provide assistance to Mr. Short to ensure he can return to his home in Hong Kong as soon as possible." more >>
A South Korean Christian missionary imprisoned in North Korea said during a recent press conference in front of government officials that he is a "criminal" guilty of "anti-state" crimes such as attempting to turn the country into a Christian nation.
At the press conference on Thursday, Baptist missionary Kim Jung Wook pleaded with North Korean officials to grant him mercy and said that he had conspired with South Korea's intelligence agency to build house churches in North Korea. Kim was arrested by North Korean officials in October, and Thursday marks his first public appearance since his arrest.
"I was thinking of turning North Korea into a religious country, and destroying its present government and political system," Kim said. "I received money from the intelligence services and followed instructions from them, and arranged North Koreans to act as their spies. And I also set up an underground church in China, in Dandong, and got the members to talk and write, for me to collect details about the reality of life in North Korea, and I provided this to the intelligence services." more >>
American megachurch pastor, Bob Rodgers, has defended Pastor David Yonggi Cho after the pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, was convicted last week of embezzling $12 million of the church's funds.
Cho, 78, was sentenced to three years in prison after he was convicted of directing officials to buy stocks from his son at four times the market price. The church subsequently lost U.S. $12 million, according to The Gospel Herald. Hee-jun, Cho's oldest son, the former CEO of the media company, Kookmin Ilbo, was also sentenced last week to three years in prison for his participation in the embezzlement scheme.
Bob Rodgers, the senior Pastor of Evangel World Prayer Center, released a nearly 500 word statement on Wednesday defending Cho, whom he referred to as a "personal friend of our family," and stated that he and his father had served on the board of Cho's Assemblies of God-affiliated church for a combined 38 years. more >>