Stephany Reyes, Staff Writer
In North Korea, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of 33 Christians for having a connection with South Korean missionaries. According to The Daily Mail, these Christians worked with South Korean missionary Kim Jung-wook and received money to set up 500 underground churches. It is said that the North Koreans are being punished more harshly than usual as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un combats a wave of dissatisfaction at the regime’s isolationist “juche” doctrine.
The Daily Mail quotes Kim Jung-wook as saying, “I was thinking of turning North Korea into a religious country, and destroying its present government and political system. I received money from the intelligence services and followed instructions from them, and arranged North Koreans to act as their spies. And I also set up an underground church in China, in Dandon, and got the members to talk and write, for me to collect details about the reality of the life in North Korea, and I provided this to the intelligence services.”
The 33 people confessed to having contact with the missionary who told them to, whenever the regime falls, build a church on the site where a massive statue of North Korea’s founder, Kim II-Sung, stands in Pyongyang.
SNU students are saddened by the news. Lindsey Rauner, said, “I think it is absolutely terrifying to know that someone has the power to do that and I also think it needs to be stopped. It’s very sad that things like this are happening in the world and have been for far too long. No person deserves to kill another. Also I’d like to know the reasoning but I would like to know how these people believe and what motivated them to think they can complete such a horrific act.”
Rachel Stewart noted that “President Kim Jong-un could have maneuvered greater political stability by negotiating for the freedom of those Christians, over making unreasonable demands.” They both mentioned how sad it is to live in fear for being a Christian.
“I think it’s a bit crazy and people should believe in whatever they want, but I think war and death derived from religion is nothing new,” commented Nina Quiñones. Christians around the world are upset and urge people to pray for the 33 people facing execution in North Korea.