Friday, January 1, 2010

World Peace Day- Peace Activist of the Week

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.

3 comments:

  1. I wish I'd seen the homily you're talking about.

    And that last bit is really sad.

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  2. The homily was very good. The Pope picked creation as being the theme for peace so the deacon talked about a tiger nursing piglets from the beginning and went on from there talking about peace between people. It was really well done.

    The abortion thing is sad and shocking. I was watching a documentary about people who would cross the boarder from N. Korea to China and then China to S. Korea. If you get to S. Korea, you can stay. China will send you back, but the border between S. Korea and N. Korea is heavily guarded where with China it's not. So most people cross into China and are hidden in a half-way house. It's like the underground railroad. Usually when you are in China, they hide you in a house and feed you to try to make you look like a S. Korean tourist. S. Koreans are healthier than N. Koreans who are usually starving. One of the crossers was a pregnant woman. They talked about the risks of being caught and being pregnant. I was so stunned. Then they said later in the film that the Chinese had caught her and sent her back. My heart just sank for her. The film makers said that they did not know what happened to her when she returned to N. Korea. I hope that she survived the abortion. I'm pretty sure that she was made to endure it and she was pretty far along. I think she was in the 3 trimester. I can't imagine being the doctor. Your government is forcing you to kill a child. This wasn't some 1 trimester abortion this was a baby who could survive.

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  3. :-( I don't even have any words for that... Just awful.

    One of my friends actually just got back from living in South Korea for awhile, I've been hearing about it on facebook for awhile (since is the only way I hear from her while she's gone lol). Interested me because I was in line for a job there (teaching English) before I moved here. Glad it fell through of course, but still...

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