Wednesday, April 19, 2006

North Korea: “Missionaries are Spies”

The North Korean government is meditating about how to stop religion from affecting its regime. Meanwhile every year the ‘Religious Freedom Report’ prepared by the U.S. Department of State highlights North Korea as a nation violating religious freedom.

According to North Korean 'Lecture Materials', North Korea has stated, ""Let’s crush the crafty conspiracy of the enemies who are spreading religion in North Korea"

These 'Lecture Materials' criticized South Korea for maneuvering defectors, tourists and traders with all kinds of religious books, tapes, and videotapes to go into North Korea.

One case sited in the 'Lecture Materials' is a woman tourist with a Bible caught in customs on the way back to North Korea in Musan district of North Hamkyung province. Another is a missionary who had contact with a North Korean, in which missionaries are referred to as “spies”.

North Korea responded that “the U.S is the worst religion-suppressing country in the world”, adding "The U.S killed over 3,000 innocent Muslims in the Afghanistan War, and defames Islam in foreign prisons".

Moreover, North Korea refuted, "South Korean religious associations and Billy Graham of the U.S visited us and negotiated and cooperated with our religious associations in various ways. Is this seen to suppress religious freedom and restraining religious activities?"

[Excerpt of an article by Park Young Cheon, The Daily NK]

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