Tuesday, July 02, 2024

North Korea

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

We know little of the real truth about the country of North Korea so to begin to understand this very independent country one needs to go back over a century. Following the Donghak Peasant Revolution the Great Korean Empire came into being in 1897, but Korea was strategically very important to Japan, who annexed the country and for years enforced its occupation in a ruthless way. 

Protest demonstrations took place but the military and police fired into groups of Korean Christians singing hymns. Christian leaders were nailed to wooden crosses to die. Police beheaded small children, besides burning down churches. It may surprise some that Korea was once considered a christian country and up to the Second World War was an active mission field. The Japanese did seek to counteract the growth of christianity by its pagan Shinto religion. The north actually had more christians than the south of the country but later the division of the nation saw many christians flee to the south.

The Japanese rule over Korea ended at the close of the Second World War. Korea then became governed as two countries according to a plan put in place by the U.S.A. The border being drawn across the 38th parallel on a map. thus dividing the nation into north and south. This was considered to be a temporary arrangement, the people having a desire for the country to be unified again. This sadly was not the case and tension between both sides led finally to the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 involving not only Koreans but the U.S.A. Britain, France, China and the then Soviet Union. The war was one of the most devastating in history and finally ended in an armistice in what is known as the Demilitarised Zone, that still divides the two countries today. North Korea continues to claim that they are the victors and annual celebrations coupled with a wealth of constant propaganda continue to declare this.
The end of the war brought about a dramatic change in the minds of the people of North Korea. It was the arrival of the ‘cult of personality’ surrounding the first Great Leader, Kim Il-sung. The people became so conditioned by their love, devotion and awe of their Great Leader that they cast aside any organized religious activity. Christianity was in their minds associated with the U.S.A. and they rejected it as it was part of ‘Imperialist America’, their brutal war enemy. They became a people conditioned into a godless society with everything controlled and arranged entirely for the furtherance of the state in every walk of life. Any challenge, however minor to be severely punished and no influence from the outside world is to be tolerated. The leader to be obeyed without question and be treated as the absolute authority on everything. They replaced the Eternal God by a mere sinful human and have fully accepted it. God has, however, made it quite clear in the Ten Commandments,”thou shalt have no other gods before me” 

This tragedy of a people being kept from the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

True Christian’s should pray for them, that they might hear or read that God loves them and that Christ died for them, but what about you? Unlike the North Koreans you now have every opportunity to learn that you are a sinner in need of the Saviour. Will you turn away from God and the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross to deal with your sin forever? You need today to repent of your sin and  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” as your Saviour. Nothing could be more urgent for you in this troubled world.


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