Monday, April 02, 2007

North Korean Defectors turn to faith

North Korean defectors are finding religious faith in large numbers as they face intense suffering and hardship in their flight from hunger and repression in their homeland, defectors and religious activists have told RFA's Korean service in a series of in-depth interviews.

North Korean defector Lee Nam Soo has begun flying balloons carrying the Gospel towards his homeland from a nearby island, hoping to counteract government propaganda that shows foreign missionaries torturing children. "This contains what the Gospels mean, the correct information about missionaries to counteract what has been introduced to them as the beast of the beasts, and about Christianity as a den of spies and other disinformation," Lee told RFA.

Kim Sung Min, chairman of the Association of North Korean Defectors in South Korea, said defectors were naturally drawn at times of danger and hardship to follow the faiths of those who helped them.

"There are many Buddhist priests and [Catholic] nuns in [the Chinese border town of] Yanji, who are visiting there. A priest approaches a defector to offer help or assistance to him, then the defector becomes used to following him," Kim told RFA.

[Radio Free Asia]

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