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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Is NK Activist Following 1st Protestant Martyr?

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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37633
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Is NK Activist Following 1st Protestant Martyr?

[b]Is NK Activist Following 1st Protestant Martyr?[/b]

Was Robert Park, the American Christian activist, who crossed into North Korea on Christmas Day shouting ``God loves you’’ consciously walking in the footsteps of the first protestant martyr in Korea?

When Park entered North Korea, he made it clear he was fully accepting the possible dangers that lay ahead.

``I do not want President Obama to come and pay to get me out,’’ said Park in an interview with Reuters, before his crossing into North Korea. ``Until the concentration camps are liberated, I do not want to come out. If I have to die with them, I will.’’

A British friend of Park’s, who wished to stay anonymous due to the sensitivity of his work with North Korean refugees, has confirmed that Park told him he had been inspired by reading the story of Robert Jermain Thomas, a Welsh protestant missionary killed in Pyongyang.

One week before his Christmas Day crossing, Park wrote a letter to the husband of the author of a book about Thomas, Stella Price, saying how he had been ``very moved’’ by the ``amazing biography.’’

Robert Thomas arrived on the peninsula in 1865 when Korea was closed to missionaries. He was on a secret trip to distribute Bibles for the National Bible Society of Scotland.

He learned some of the language and returned in 1866 as interpreter on an armed American trading ship, the USS General Sherman, arriving at a time when secret Catholic believers were being persecuted.

Thousands were executed, including several foreign priests. The ship was attacked near Pyongyang and no one survived. Thomas was reportedly beheaded giving a Bible to his executioner.

Robert Jermain Thomas
Many Koreans visit the Hanover United Reformed Church, Llanover, Wales, to pay respect to Thomas, whose father was a former minister of the church.

In 1931, Koreans, apparently erected a Robert Jermain Thomas Memorial Church near the spot where he died.

Although some Internet commentary has brandished Robert Park as unstable, and even insane, those who have met him say he is sincere and passionate about his belief.

``Of course when something like this happens (his sanity) is always a question that is asked,’’ said Lauren Walker, a fellow activist for the North formerly involved with Park in Seoul. ``I definitely would not describe him as insane. He was a very loving individual.’’

Park crossed illegally from China into North Korea on Dec. 25.

He was carrying a letter calling on Kim Jong-il to set political prisoners free and ``repent,’’ and crossed shouting, ``I am an American citizen. I am bringing God’s love. God loves you.’’

North Korea’s state news agency confirmed the capture of an American citizen three days later. The report did not disclose his identity.

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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2010/2/7 7:06Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3421
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Is NK Activist Following 1st Protestant Martyr?

``Of course when something like this happens (his sanity) is always a question that is asked,’’ said Lauren Walker...

When I first read this back in Dec, my first thought was, "What was he thinking?" but of course that is what those of us say who are sitting in our warm houses and full bellys say!!

This story reminds me of the two Morovian men who sold themselves into slavery did.

We think we are witnessing to others when we can return home to our warm houses and comfortable beds but truly isn't this what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about... forsaking everything to follow Him? God help me and us all who haven't done this.


 2010/2/7 7:35Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37633
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


[b]US missionary freed by NKorea starts journey home[/b]

Robert Park strode illegally into North Korea on Christmas Day, shouting "I brought God's love" and carrying a Bible. When the communist regime released him Saturday, he left silent and pale.

As the American missionary made his way home to California, loved ones wondered how 43 days of detention in the world's most secretive nation had taken their toll on the young man who so brashly demanded religious and political reforms.

Park, his eyes almost closed, made no comment as U.S. consular officials guided him to a transit area in Beijing's airport after his morning arrival from Pyongyang. ...

read more: [url=;_ylt=A0oGkt7ZM25Lo30AxhV1CqMX;_ylu=X3oDMTBxMmNlbTdlBHBndANhdl9uZXdzX3Jlc3VsdHMEc2VjA3Ny][/url]

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2010/2/7 7:38Profile

 Re: Zeal comes and goes....

Richard Wurmbrand documents in his writings, "Tortured for Christ", and other books, the difference between zeal and Godly resolve. He was in dungeons and tortured for 14 years. One is outward; the other in embedded in the heart of man. One , being put on, like a cloak, can be removed as easily. The other can never be removed, for you cannot dissolve true faith, because you cannot dissolve a spirit.

True obedience is never preceded by the sounding of a trumpet, but secretly, without the left hand acknowledging the right. That is left to the Pharisees, who thrive on the praises of men, while the saint is quietly satisfied with the honor that proceeds from God alone.

May we pray for Robert Park, as my hope is that he has learned a most valuable lesson. I'm sure he feels a failure, and is humiliated. My counsel to him would be, "We all fail. Dust yourself off, and get back up in the joy of His mercies and wait. God has just started with you, and He will finish, and you will come out stronger than you went in, if you receive His grace."

I have been most presumptuous in my life, allowing my pride mixed with zeal to carry me into failed exploits. I know, however, that God saw my heart, and in a way, was pleased that I had a heart to abandon all for Him, whatever the cost. I have been humbled and am yet, but I know that God doesn't see my failure as severe as I do, or others. Just another day to Him, as He cleanses me from my attempts to be accepted, or right.

I'll bet Bro. Park felt he was doing the right thing, just like Peter did when he declared that he would follow Jesus to death. The crow of the rooster straitened him out, and he wept bitterly realizing his folly and utter weak failure. Peter turned out OK, and Jesus let him know that he would get his wish....but in victory and Peace, a little later on. It is my hope that Park will be given grace to please Jesus with his life, or death, according to his destiny. "Help our brother recover Lord!"

 2010/2/7 8:13

Joined: 2009/12/13
Posts: 187
Northern Idaho



"Help our brother recover Lord!"

Amen. Lord make it so.

 2010/2/7 11:21Profile

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