Thursday, October 18, 2007

Missionary who 'knew the risks' now scheduled for public execution in N. Korea

A campaign is under way by Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) to help secure the release of a North Korean missionary sentenced to a public execution.Son Jong Nam was an Army officer in North Korea who defected to China after secret police kicked his pregnant wife in the stomach, causing her to miscarry. Once Son was in China, he met a missionary and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. Soon afterwards, he felt called to be an evangelist in North Korea. However, before he could go back, he was arrested by Chinese authorities and extradited to North Korea where he served three years for taking part in illegal Christian activities.After his release, Son returned to China to continue his studies and again felt the urge to return to North Korea to share the gospel. He did so and was soon arrested and sentenced to be publicly executed. VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton says Son returned to the communist nation fully aware of the risks.
"He knew the price that he could potentially pay," Nettleton shares. "All Christians in North Korea know that their lives are at risk. They know that their Christian activity and Christian witness is against the law-and so he knew the risks ... yet willingly went back to share the gospel in that country," he says.Nettleton says although a campaign is under way to publicize the case, it has been difficult to find information about Son's condition. "One of the things that we hoped that this campaign would produce is that the North Korean government would account for him, would give us an update on his status, his condition in prison," he says. "Instead, they have been completely silent, and so we don't know what his status is."The VOM spokesman says that as of March of this year contacts have informed the ministry that Son is alive-and according to Nettleton, since Son is scheduled for a public execution, VOM would know if it happened. VOM featured Son on its prisoner alert website and nearly 4,000 letters have been written on his behalf.

As in the days of Noah...

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