Yeah, I know, I totally steal people's ideas, but I give credit where credit is due. Cam's persons of the week, outfits of the week, are neat to read. I don't normally hear about stuff like that on the news broadcasts so it enlightens me. And I'm not stealing away from what she posts. I'm just taking the idea and running with it in a different direction. So thank you Cam for enlightening me and giving me more blogging post ideas.
January 1st was declared World Peace Day by the Pope. I'm excited about this new "holiday" designation because it is so important to remember that Jesus is a pacifist. Even the deacon during his sermon at Mass today, talked extensively about pacifism. The gospel was about turning the other cheek. I was totally thrilled. So in honor of the holiday, I decided to feature a peace activist of the week. Some are activists from the past and some from the present.
This week's activist is Robert Park. Park is a 28 year old Christian Missionary from Tucson, AZ. On Christmas Day, he crossed into North Korea from China. With him he carried a letter to Kim Jong Il asking the dictator to "Please open your borders so that we may bring food, provisions, medicine, necessities, and assistance to those who are struggling to survive. Please close down all concentration camps and release all political prisoners today, and allow care teams to enter to minister healing to those who have been tortured and traumatized." Those who witnessed the crossing reported that in Korean he said "I am an American citizen. I brought God's love. God loves you and God bless you." as he was crossing.
Park went into N. Korea knowing full well the consequences of his actions. He has said that he doesn't want the US government to take actions to secure his release. For crossing the border illegally, Park faces at the very least three months of hard labor. Park is part of a group called Pax Koreana, which promotes human rights in N. Korea.
For Park's courageous strides in trying to bring attention to and ending human rights violations in N. Korea and doing so in a peaceful manner, I honor him in being the First Peace Activist of the Week. I urge you to keep him in your prayers, but also to pray for those in N. Korea who experience human tragedy.
Oh, and Cam if you are caught trying to leave N. Korea or are returned to N. Korea by the Chinese government and are pregnant, the N. Korea government will force you to have a horrific abortion (you could die) and then force you into a hard labor camp. So Kim Jong Il rightly deserves a place in your idiot of the week column. Abortions are horrible enough when women make the choice; it's ten times worse when a government uses it as a form of punishment.