<%image(20051219-missionary.1841.jpg|184|210|missionary)%>The New York Times has an interesting story about the work of South Koreans in bringing the Gospel to China and to North Korea. Apparently many North Koreans escape to the South and some convert to Christianity with the help of missionaries. What I find most amazing is the fact that North Korea was the starting point of the Gospel in the Korean peninsula.
With a nearly 30 percent Christian population, the South has the world’s second largest missionary movement, after the United States, with 14,000 people abroad. An estimated 1,500 are deployed in China, evangelizing secretly and illegally among Chinese and among North Koreans living in China – a population that various estimates say ranges from 10,000 to as many as 300,000. South Korean missionaries shelter North Koreans and have brought thousands here to the South; others train them to return home to proselytize, as well as smuggle Bibles into the North.
For the South’s missionaries, converting people from the North, where Christianity first spread before the peninsula’s division, dovetails with their dream of a reunified peninsula. “Oh Lord, please send us, for our brethren up North,” reads a verse in the most popular hymn among missionaries working with defectors, “Evangelical Song of Unification.” It is also part of a larger dream of spreading the Gospel along the Silk Road back to its source.
Other news that’s worth a look.
House Backs Arctic Drilling at End of Marathon Session: Gotta keep the fuel pumping for the Hummer3 and the SUV’s. God forbid that we actually restrain ourselves for once. Sometimes our country really ticks me off.
In Exurbs, Life Framed by Hours Spent in the Car: If you’ve ever wondered why Americans are obese, here’s one reason.
A Step Closer to Finding the Scream: I think this is one of the most significant pieces of modern art. I hope they can track it down.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is expected to leave hospital on Tuesday: I never thought I would say this . . . but Sharon may be one of our best hopes for peace in the Middle East. My how times have changed.