North Korea (MNN) — Last year, South Korea issued charges against Pastor Eric Foley for launching Bible balloons into North Korea. See our coverage here. Foley leads The Voice of the Martyrs Korea, one of three groups currently facing South Korean government charges.
Two of the groups went to court last month, Foley shares, but it’s still a waiting game for VOM Korea. Questions surround the law’s tight restrictions. “The [South Korean] government has been very focused on its new balloon launching law,” Foley says.
“That law received negative reviews around the world as people found it far too restrictive and too submissive to North Korea on the part of South Korea.”
Of the three groups charged by South Korea’s government, VOM Korea is the only one sending Bibles. The other two sent political propaganda criticizing North Korea’s government. “Fortunately, the only charges against us relate to the actual act of balloon launching itself. The other two organizations face additional charges related to things like financial mismanagement and misappropriation,” Foley adds.
One door may be closed, but another is wide open.
Foley says North Koreans are still getting Scripture through the radio. “About 20% of North Koreans are estimated to listen to radio broadcasts using smuggled radios that they bring in from China,” he explains. VOM Korea’s broadcasts feature audio Scripture and Bible studies.
Why Christians cannot exist in North Korea
North Korea’s communist-inspired dictatorship is founded upon Juche, a religious ideology that requires worship of the Kim family. The regime brutally opposes Christianity and considers anyone who follows Christ, or expresses interest in the Bible, an enemy of the state. More about that here.
Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit is moving, and North Korean Christians do exist. These secret believers occasionally manage to send notes across the border. VOM Korea recently received a message that says:
We have all come to know that God created the world, God is a living God, and is protecting us. We never knew this until we receive the words on the mp3. I am not, of course, able to understand it perfectly. But I will keep listening one time, ten times, and 100 times to keep His words.
“We normally receive three or four [notes] a month from North Koreans who have received our Bibles inside North Korea,” Foley says.
“There’s no price I wouldn’t be willing to pay to [send a Bible to] someone who says they will keep listening to it one time, ten times, 100 times, to keep God’s Word.”
VOM Korea’s radio broadcasts are produced by North Korean Underground University students. In the broadcasts, students share Scripture — both in its pure form and in North Korean-style dramas. (Photo, caption courtesy of VOM Korea)