WASHINGTON—While speaking at a North Korea Freedom Week forum on Capitol Hill Friday, the first North Korean defector to be ordained as a Methodist minister asserted that Korean Christians not only want to topple the regime of dictator Kim Jong-un but want the unification of North and South Korea to occur through the Gospel.
Kang Chul-ho, who established the first North Korean defector church congregation in South Korea and is also the vice president of the North Korean Christian Association, spoke at the forum entitled "Ending the Kim Regime's Reign of Terror in North Korea: What Must Be Done," and explained that the socialist regime fears the power of the North Korean defectors more than it actually fears the military strength of South Korea.
"This is our 12th meeting of North Korea Freedom Week and I come to realize more and more each time I attend these rallies, there is an important role to be played by North Korean escapees," Kang explained. "The saying goes that Kim Jong-un in a meeting stated that he was not afraid of the 600,000 military personnel in South Korea but he was concerned about the North Korean escapees and that these escapees were a threat to the republic." more >>
Assyrian Christians have reported a new attack by terror group ISIS in the city of Hassaké in Syria, where the jihadists were successfully pushed back by local Kurdish militia before the latest insurgence. Reports have said that negotiations for the previously 232 kidnapped Assyrian Christians have stalled, among whom are 51 children and 84 women.
"We are going through a terrible moment. The jihadists of the Islamic State attacked Hassaké for two days. They were warded off by the army and Kurdish militias. But we are cut off, like an island surrounded by jihadists from all sides," said Syrian Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, head of Archieparchy in Hassaké-Nisibi, according to Fides News Agency. more >>
Eight prisoners in Indonesia reformed by Christianity sang and prayed as they walked to their executions Wednesday morning, witnesses said.
The eight prisoners included two Australians (Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan); four Africans (Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudili Oyatanze, and Martin Anderson); and one each from Brazil (Rodrigo Gularte); and Indonesia (Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin), who were convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia, a country with harsh penalties for smuggling, including life in prison and the death penalty.
"When they were being put on the cross for execution, they were singing on the crosses and we were in a tent not too far away from the execution place trying to support them," Father Charlie Burrows told News Corp Australia more >>
An expert on human rights activism in the Communist state of North Korea believes progress is being made in the push to reform the Asian nation.
Jared Genser, a human rights attorney who serves as managing director of Perseus Strategies and founder of Freedom Now, said while part of a panel that human rights activism has come "a very long way."
At an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday afternoon, Genser noted that there were improvements in the situation, stemming in part because of the growth in information over the past 15 years. more >>
The Nigerian army has reported that it rescued 200 girls and 93 women from the Sambia Forest on Tuesday as it continues driving out terror group Boko Haram from its territory. It added, however, that the girls are not the ones from Chibok kidnapped by the jihadists in April 2014.
Nigerian Army spokesman Sani Usman said, according to CNN, that the army has raided a number of Boko Haram's camps in the forest, which has served as a stronghold for the Islamic militants. The region is not far from Chibok, where close to 200 girls were kidnapped last year, sparking a major international campaign calling for their release.
Usman confirmed, however, that the rescued captives are not the schoolgirls taken by Boko Haram in that particular raid. more >>
Terror group Boko Haram, which has been carrying out deadly attacks across Nigeria for almost six years now, has changed its name to "Islamic State's West Africa Province," or ISWAP. The militants have previously pledged allegiance to ISIS, and are continuing their attacks on Nigerian towns with an aim to establish an African Caliphate.
The Independent reported on Sunday that new propaganda materials released by Boko Haram leadership have been distributed through ISIS' social media accounts, where they refer to the group by its new adopted name.
Boko Haram itself is a nickname which means "Western education is forbidden." Its previous official name was Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, Arabic for "People committed to the propagation of the prophet's teachings and jihad." more >>