Australian Missionary Arrested In North Korea

John Short, 75, has been detained since Sunday

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John Short

John Short, a Christian missionary traveling to North Korea for his second visit, has been arrested in the rogue country’s capital Pyongyang, his family says.

The 75-year-old was traveling on a regular tour group at the time of his detention. He lives with his wife in Hong Kong where they are reportedly active in the Christian Book Room, a gospel-publishing ministry. His family was informed of his arrest by a fellow tour group member who returned to China this week.

Short was carrying religious texts that had been translated into Korean. Disseminating such materials is considered a crime in the communist state.

Short joins 45-year-old Korean-American Kenneath Bae as high-profile foreigners detained in the Hermit Kingdom. Bae was detained in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the state.

The Australian government does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea, but is instead using the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang to try to establish Short’s wellbeing. According to a biography published online, Short had previously been arrested multiple times for missionary work in China.

[Reuters, South China Morning Post]

3 comments
yogitheforce
yogitheforce

While I sympathize with the family, if you're stupid enough to not only intentionally go to North Korea AND spread religion in a communist state that censors EVERYTHING, you shouldn't be surprised when you're arrested and detained.  It's like me bitching about getting bit or attacked when I voluntarily enter a lion's den.  Hope he gets out alive.

Zoas
Zoas

@yogitheforce He's not bitching about it. He's standing up to them! If not him, then who else? Christians have always stood up to tyrants, Why all the hate for this guy when what he is doing is an amazing act of bravery? If he were gay and this were Russia he would have international support and probably get an award.