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Author Topic: Jae-rock Lee & North Korean Defectors  (Read 1152 times)

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July 13, 2016, 12:38:18 PM
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Offline Peter

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Jae-rock Lee & North Korean Defectors
« on: July 13, 2016, 12:38:18 PM »
Finally (for tonight at least), this is interesting:
February 4, 2016: At Churches in South, North Korean Defectors Pray for Pay (John Power for Asia Times)
For their weekly attendance, the North Koreans among the congregation receive about $170 each month.

Manmin is perhaps the most prominent example of a culture of churches paying North Koreans that has taken root in South Korea, where defectors often struggle to make ends meet and Christianity is a flourishing industry. While modest on paper, the benefits at Manmin, which also include rice and Korea’s staple side dish kimchi, are a significant incentive for defectors.

September 20, 2016, 12:07:54 AM
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Offline Peter

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Re: Jae-rock Lee & North Korean Defectors
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 12:07:54 AM »
Some more tidbits about Lee Jae-rock and North Korean refugees:

A Heavy Price to Pay…
The Pastor of one of the largest churches in South Korea says there are Christians in his congregation ready to sacrifice their lives to take the Gospel into North Korea

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (ANS) -- Dr. Jaerock Lee, senior pastor of one of the largest churches in South Korea, says that there are Christians in his Seoul church who are ready to go into North Korea “when it opens up” and are “ready to be martyred for the sake of Christ.”

Secret believers in North Korea

Dr. Lee, senior pastor of Manmin Central Church in Seoul, South Korea, which has 100,000 members and over 9,000 branch churches around the world, spoke to me about North Korea on Friday, October 7, 2011, before the start of the 29th anniversary celebrations of his church, which began in 1982 with just 13 members.

In his office, just 120 unsettling miles from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, Lee said that because of the world economic situation, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly as North Korea, is now in such a dire state, with much of its population starving, it could soon briefly open up to the world.

“North Korea is suffering from an economic crisis and so many children are dying from poverty, which means that they will have to open the door to the rest of the world as they don’t want to see a revolution," he said.

Dr. Jaerock Lee preaching on Friday night

“China is supporting and protecting North Korea right now, and they are trying to push the responsibility for North Korea’s problems on the United States, but in the future, I see them having a better relationship with America.

“North Korea will see a situation where they will have to open the door to the rest of the world so as to get aid and when they do this, our Christians will cross the border and spread the Gospel and countless works of God will take place.

“However, I believe it will only be momentary thing, but during that short time, the power of God will be manifested in North Korea and since the people there have such pure hearts, they will accept it, and will witness amazing works of healing and hear the Good News of the Gospel.

“I also am convinced that many will convert to Christ and then the leading North Koreans will try to ban the work of these Christians. We already have pastors here at my church who are ready for that situation and who have decided that they are willing to lay down their lives as martyrs.

“Once they decide to stay in North Korea, they will see martyrdom, but there are also Christians that will come out of North Korea as the doors close shut again but, by that time, their system will be in crisis because of the power of God.”

Part of the delegation -- Dan Wooding, Charles Wickman and Michael Little -- at North Korean Church service

For security reasons, Dr. Lee said he didn’t want to give away many details about who those are who are in training to take the Gospel into North Korea, but he did reveal that he has several hundred North Koreans in his church who have managed to escape to the South.

What is the biggest problem they face when they arrive in South Korea?

“First of all, they have a financial problem, because the support from government is not much and so it’s difficult for them to manage their life,” said Dr. Lee. “It’s difficult to get a job.

“Say, for instance, a doctor came from North Korea, but with the knowledge and skill he brings with him, he cannot maintain a job as doctor here in South Korea."

He went on to say, “But besides the job problems, they have to get food and somewhere to live. So for these refugees, we give them aid but what they want most of all is to get a job. It would be nice if there is a company which reads this and can hire especially those North Korean refugees. Last summer we held a special church retreat for our North Korean refugees.”

Dan Wooding and Dr. David Cho, who led the team that Wooding was part of into North Korea, pictured besides huge statue of Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang

After talking with these refugees, what information had Dr. Lee gleaned from them about the situation for Christians in North Korea which has, once again been branded by Open Doors in their World Watch List as the “world’s worst persecutor of Christians.”

“I have heard that there are many Christians, but they are underground,” said Lee. “They will be revealed soon, but if they are now, they will experience a disadvantage. I do not know exact figure of these underground Christians right now, but I do know that there are many.”

On a personal level, I have been to North Korea. I went into this secretive country in 1994 shortly after the death of Kim Il-sung as part of a small delegation of Christians who were the first group allowed into the country after the funeral of Kim Il-sung.

In view of this, I can echo what Dr. Lee had been saying and I have also met with many believers in the South who are training to take the Gospel and plant churches in North Korea.

So what is it like inside the North? During my trip, I actually attended a church service in Pyongyang, and I never really understood if they were actual believers or actors wheeled out for Western believers.

One thing is for clear and that is that to be a believer in North Korea is extremely dangerous.

I went to to find out more and there I read, "Christians are persecuted around the world. What's so special about the persecution of North Korean Christians that makes North Korea the world's top persecutor of Christians, indeed in a category all by itself.

“North Korean Christians aren't simply killed for their faith in Christ. They are pulverized with steamrollers, used to test biological weapons, shipped off to death camps or shot in front of children, while newborn babies have their brains pinched with forceps in front of their mothers.

“Crimes against humanity reminiscent of Auschwitz and Treblinka to which the world declared ‘Never Again!’ more than 60 years ago, are being perpetrated today against the North Korean Christians.”

No wonder that so many risk their lives to escape to China and, if they are fortunate, onto South Korea via an underground railroad. Sadly, however, much of the time, when the Chinese authorities catch them, they send them back across the border to what will be certain imprisonment or worse.