The North Korean government has arrested an Australian Christian missionary for handing out Gospel tracts, with the family of the 75-year-old man fearing he could face up to 15 years in prison."My husband does what he believes is what God wants him to do," Karen Short said of her husband, John, who was arrested at his Pyongyang hotel on Sunday, according to Australian news site ABC."Without sounding strange, that's him, he's a man of faith. We're faith missionaries and he believed that we should care and not just talk but do something."Short said that this was her husband's second trip to the Pacific country, and he knew that handing out religious material is an illegal activity there."Ultimately, we're in God's hands and that's how we look at it," Short added, noting that the Australian government has promised to try and help with the case."Our interests in North Korea are represented by the Swedish embassy and we have been in close contact with Swedish officials in Pyongyang to seek their assistance in confirming that Mr. Short is well and that we can get as much information as we can from them," Foreign Affairsread more: http://global.christianpost.com/news/north-korea-arrests-australian-christian-missionary-for-handing-out-gospel-tracts-114829/
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
I read this story on CNN the other day.No doubt, Mr. Short knew what he was doing and what he could be facing.This is a strong witness to both the persecuted church and an encouragement to us to be bold and not love our lives until death."Lord, make him a bright shining witness for you in North Korea, strengthen him to face whatever may come. May the presence of your Spirit be with him wherever he goes. Speak thou to his defence, confine his adversaries to naught, convict them of their error."
A 75-year-old Australian missionary held in North Korea for allegedly distributing religious materials has broken down after being released and deported to China.Hong Kong-based John Short was arrested last month after leaving “Bible tracts’’ in a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang during a tour, and had faced a potential jail term.Released after allegedly confessing and apologising, Mr Short arrived in Beijing on a flight from the North Korean capital, breaking down and crying when he was questioned by journalists.“I’m really, really tired,’’ he said, adding that he planned “to rest’’ before he was ushered off by an Australian official and driven away.The North’s state-run KCNA news agency said the “generous’’ decision to release and expel Mr Short had been taken in light of his advanced age and a signed ``confession’’ and apology.A copy of Mr Short’s statement was released along with photos showing him affixing his thumb in red ink to the document which he also signed and read out.“I realise that my actions are an indelible hostile act against the independent right and laws of the (North),’’ the confession read.“I request forgiveness ... and am willing to bow down on my knees,’’ it said.Confessions and self-criticisms - scripted by the authorities -- are normally a prerequisite for detained foreigners seeking release in North Korea.Mr Short’s statement stated that US and other western media reports labelling the North as a closed country without religious freedoms were ``inaccurate and wrong’’.Although freedom of worship is enshrined in North Korea’s constitution, it does not exist in practice and religious activity is severely restricted to officially-recognised groups linked to the government.In his statement, Mr Short also admitted distributing religious texts on the Pyongyang subway during a previous tour to the North in 2012.“I now realise the seriousness of my insult to the Korean people ... and for this I truly apologise,’’ it said.Australia has no diplomatic representation in North Korea, but its foreign ministry said his release was “welcome news’’.Short’s wife, Karen Short, said in Hong Kong that she was ”amazingly thankful’’.According to Mr Short’s travelling companion, Chinese Christian Wang Chong, the Australian left a pamphlet about the gospel inside a Buddhist temple and their North Korean tour guide reported him to the authorities.An employee of the Chinese company that booked the tour, BTG, told the ABC that Mr Short allegedly admitted he was in North Korea for more than just sightseeing.Pyongyang views foreign missionaries as seditious elements intent on fomenting unrest and those who are caught engaging in any activities in the North are subject to immediate arrest.Mr Short has lived in Asia for five decades and runs a publishing house in Hong Kong that distributes calendars, Bibles and tracts in Chinese and other languages.He was banned from entering China for nearly two years after his second arrest in 1996. Authorities later let him back in and he was arrested several more times for “speaking out about the brutality against Chinese Christians,’’ said the Christian website Gospel ASttract.Karen Short said he was visiting North Korea for the second time. His first trip was a year ago “so he knew what he was going into,’’ she said.A number of missionaries - mostly US citizens - have been arrested in the past with some allowed to return home after interventions by high-profile US figures.Pyongyang is currently holding US citizen Kenneth Bae, described by a North Korean court as a militant Christian evangelist.He was arrested in November 2012 and later sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour on charges of seeking to topple the government.A South Korean missionary, Kim Jeong-Wook, has also been detained since last October.In a televised press conference staged in Pyongyang last week, Kim “confessed’’ to anti-government activities including helping organise underground churches for North Korean refugees in China and spying for Seoul’s intelligence authorities.Seoul denied Kim’s involvement with the intelligence agency and demanded his immediate release.from: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/north-korea-frees-detained-australian-missionary-john-short/story-e6frg6nf-1226843515644
I read this earlier today and I wondered what happened to him to cause him to say the things he said. I am interested to see what more he can say in regards to his imprisonment and what he was or was not able to do with the Gospel.