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North Korean government agent spied on Christians, accepted Jesus on his deathbed

Mon, Jul. 24, 2017 Posted: 03:19 PM


By Mark Ellis

Her parents were secret Christians in a society where any public expression of faith leads to imprisonment and possibly death. When she stumbled on their closely held secret as a young girl, she almost turned her own parents into the authorities.

“Like so many Christian families, our family was banished in the 1950s to a remote village,” Kim Sang-Hwa* told Open Doors. “They continued to hide their faith from the outside world.”

Their house was very small, and they all slept in the same room. When she was six-years-old, she woke up earlier than usual one morning. “When I opened my eyes, I saw my father and mother under the blanket and I could hear the soft noise of the radio. Later I learned they were listening to a broadcast from a Christian radio station,” she recounted.

A few years later she made an even more dramatic discovery. “When I was 12, I accidentally found a Bible my parents had hidden in their closet. I don’t know why, but I started to feel inside the cabinet with my hand, pulled out a book and began to read.”

Because of her schoolteachers’ indoctrination, she realized her discovery was dangerous and she was obligated to tell her teachers about the illegal book.

“I was afraid to touch the Bible, but I couldn’t just leave it there. I closed my eyes, picked up the book and put it back. I weighed my options. Should I tell my teacher? Should I visit the local security official? For fifteen days I couldn’t think about anything else. I knew it was my duty to report this illegal book. But it was my family which was involved. And I also had all these questions: ‘Who is this God? Or ‘what’?’”

Finally, she summoned the courage to confront her father. “He was very surprised and sat next to me. He asked me: ‘Do you see those old trees?’ I nodded. ‘Who made those?’ I said I didn’t know and he explained the story of creation to me, including how God had made Adam and Eve.”

My mother taught me to memorize Bible verses and the Apostolic Creed and also explained the full Gospel to me. My grandfather showed me how to pray. ‘It is just talking to God. Nothing more, nothing less.’ He spoke a lot about Jesus’ Second Coming. He really longed for that.

“To me all those stories and ideas were so interesting. I also read the Bible for myself. But I realized it was dangerous. My father always emphasized not to share anything with anyone else. Then he would start to pray in whispers, almost inaudible. ‘Father, help the North Korean people to seek your Kingdom first’.”

She learned that her father met people in secret location, as part of the underground church. “Many children of believers came to that location too and learned the Bible. We prayed together.”

But Sang-Hwa and her parents were unaware that government agents had infiltrated the underground meetings. “Among the people visiting the secret meetings were some non-believers too, even spies,” she told Open Doors.

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Mark Ellis