Friday, November 21, 2008

North Korea enraged by launch of Gospel gas balloons:Communists see Christian messages by thousands blanketing countryside

Christians launching a balloon to carry thousands of Gospel tracts over North Korea, where they are then dropped to residents
North Korean officials are infuriated by leaflets that have been floated over the communist nation's secured borders and dropped from plastic bags attached to gas-filled balloons, and one organization behind the effort says there's good reason the atheists in power are upset – the pamphlets are carrying a Gospel message directly to the people.Hundreds of thousands of leaflets have reportedly been distributed in just the past few months, and may have been the reason the North recently announced it would shut its border with the South. The North also has threatened to cut other communications, such as telephone lines, over the issue.The leaflets have been attributed to "political" groups, but a spokesman for one organization sponsoring the effort said there's nothing political about it, and the tracts carry a message of hope directly to the North Korean people.The spokesman and his organization, which spreads the Gospel around the world, couldn't be identified because of the potential for danger to affiliated activists who are dispatching the balloons.But he told WND those who have fled government crackdowns on their faith inside North Korea are desperate to get the message of hope to their family, friends and communities behind the wall of communist information censorship."Each balloon carried 10,000 Gospel tracts, in three separate bags at the bottom that have a time release mechanism so that they drop at different times to spread the leaflets over a wider area," he described.On one side, the leaflet cites a "great revival" that launched in Pyongyang in 1907."It began with a Bible study that took place in Changdaehyun church … Many Koreans came together to study the Bible, the written record of God's love for Korean people and the world," it says. "Unfortunately, this study of the truth was stopped by Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. They are not the first people to build big statues of themselves for people to bow down and worship. Throughout history, many leaders have claimed to be a god only to die later. The following is a true story from the Bible that took place thousands of years ago. It is about a man like Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il who thought he was even better than God Himself. But this story is also about 3 courageous men who knew who the real God was, and how they refused to bow down to someone who was only a man."The pamphlet then describes Nebuchadnezzar's reign, his construction of a golden statue to himself and the refusal on the part of three Israelite captives to bow down before it.The Bible records Nebuchadnezzer then had the captives thrown into a fire, but he saw four men, not three, walking around inside the flames, which did not hurt the men."There is only one who is the true Savior. Just as King Nebuchadnezzar died, so did Kim Il-Sung and one day so will Kim Jong-Il. But unlike these 3 men, the true God, Jesus Christ rose from the dead and lives," it continues."King Nebuchadnezzar had his people bow down and worship him, but God showed him that he was not a god. King Nebuchadnezzar had to bow down to the One True God. Everyone, including all the leaders in the world that have thought themselves to be God, will one day have to bow down to the One True God also. The Bible says that the name of Jesus, God's son, is above every name. At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord."The Al-Jazeera network reported even the South Korean government was looking for ways to ban "activists" from sending "anti-North Korean propaganda" across the border between the two nations, apparently in an attempt to win favor with the North Korean powers.Kim Ho-Nyoun of South Korea's unification ministry said he was reviewing whether there were "legal grounds" to halt the spread of the messages, which Al-Jazeera described as an "irritant" to North-South relations because of their "critical" message about North Korean leadership.The Islamic network noted North Korean officials had been complaining about "debris," while the Korea Times said the government's previous attempts to discourage the spread of such messages have not been successful.The pamphlet says, "The Bible tells us that 'God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life" (John 3:16). We love God because He first loved us. God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die to save you-and He rose from the dead and is watching over you today. That is why you have found this paper."Although there may be "political" items also being dropped over North Korea, many of the items are evangelism-oriented, the ministry spokesman told WND."The good news of this story is that obviously it works," said the ministry spokesman. "If the leaflets weren't getting into North Korea, or weren't getting read by anyone, the North Korean government wouldn't be making a big deal about it."North Korea long has had a record of banning Christianity and torturing and killing Christians. WND reported a Christian ministry launched a campaign seeking to have North Korean students who were caught reading the Bible freed from jail.According to Free North Korea Broadcasting, a former vice-president of GumRung Co. of the Rodong Dang Labor Organization Department, reported the situation.He escaped to the relative freedom of China to avoid arrest by the National Security Agency of North Korea and carried information about the situation with him."In March 2006, 200 Life Bibles and several hundred CDs were purchased in China and secretly placed in flour bags before being smuggled into North Korea," he reported. "This huge Bible smuggling case was headed by GumRung Co. employees who were influenced by Christianity in China and underground Christians in Nasun City."He continued, "All the leaders have been arrested and are being severely tortured. If I am caught, I will be sent to a prison camp for political criminals. I didn't want to die in prison camp, so I escaped."
But detailed information from inside North Korea often is hard to obtain, many times coming only from those who have survived and escaped. WND previously reported on a North Korean who fled and said many North Koreans believe dictator Kim Jong-Il actually is a god.
By Bob Unruh
As in the days of Noah...

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