|Knox Seminary, Toronto (Photo by SchwerinG)|
The Christian lectionary recently contained passages from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Within this epistle, Paul urges congregational members: Rejoice! The Lord is near!
What’s amazing about Paul’s upbeat tone is that he is writing this letter from prison. Not just any prison, mind you, but the harshest of prisons. He has been arrested for alleged crimes against the state, “crimes” of Christian devotion.
That was then, and this is now. Surely the world has learned a thing or two about tolerance within the past two millennia. Surely Christian martyrdom is ancient history by now…
If only that were so. If only living by the Gospel produced nothing but Fruits of the Spirit. If only Christians and other devotees were truly free the world over.
The Associated Press recently reported that Hyeon Soo Lim, Pastor of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, was sentenced to a life of hard labor within a North Korean prison. His crime?
Lim is being accused of “threatening the supremacy of its [North Korea’s] ruling regime.” In reality, he has made numerous humanitarian trips to that land in order to support “a nursing home, a nursery and an orphanage.”
Copyright December 17, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved