North Korea (MNN) — Each year, the U.S. State Department releases its annual International Religious Freedom report. This report documents the state of religious freedom in countries around the world. Read the report here.
This year, in the South Korea section of the report, The Voice of the Martyrs Korea was mentioned. Pastor Eric Foley says the mention surprised him. He didn’t provide any information for the report, but he confirms the report is accurate. “The issues had to do with the South Korean government’s actions toward us in terms of our balloon launching and our rice bottle launching. And the report talked about those actions potentially constituting a violation of our religious freedom. But I never think about whether the South Korean government’s actions toward us constitute a violation of our religious freedom. Because as we think about our work, our work is really rooted in freedom in Christ.”
“In our way of thinking, freedom in Christ is something that can’t be granted by governments. And it can’t be restrained by them.”
Foley says both the South and North Korean constitutions guarantee religious freedom for North Koreans. But with current laws, every Bible going into North Korea must enter illegally. “Up until March, it was possible to send Bibles by balloon from South Korea. But now, whatever the border that has to be crossed, whether through Russia or China or South Korea, any Bible that crosses the border is crossing through an illegal act.”
The header photo shows balloons getting prepared for launch (Photo courtesy of VOM Canada)