The Dark Side At Bay

From elsewhere in the Axis of Evil, check out this facinating Sunday Times (UK) piece by Michael Sheridan. It’s a first-hand look inside crumbling North Korea, and deserves more play than it’s getting. One of the unexpected (at least to me) details suggests the North may have caught what the Chi-Coms call “The Polish Disease”:

Word has spread like wildfire of the Christian underground that helps fugitives to reach South Korea. People who lived in silent fear now dare to speak about escape. The regime has almost given up trying to stop them going, although it can savagely punish those caught and sent back.

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13 Responses to “The Dark Side At Bay”

  1. The Parson Says:

    One of my colleagues is a South Korean minister with family/ties in the North, and he speaks of the same thing (anecdotally). I have another colleague who is a Chaldean minister in Baghdad and they have been working on this sort of thing for some time. One thing that sometimes gets overlooked is the role that the Orthodox church played in the downfall of the USSR. All of which I think is pretty damn exciting. I love to see the church give oppressive regimes the finger. Sometimes figuratively; sometimes literally.

  2. Redman Says:

    The biggest obstacle between oppressed people worldwide and freedom is the American democratic party.

  3. Cridland Says:

    chi-coms = ?

  4. Scott Free Says:

    Wow. If another member of the axis of evil crumbles in the wake of the Iraqi election, we’re going to have to start darting liberals with prozac before their heads explode.

  5. Connard Says:

    Chi-Coms = CHInese COMmunistS

    as opposed to the Nationalist Chinese in Taiwan.

  6. Adam Says:

    My cousin just came back from Cuba, where she says that Christianity has gone above ground.

    There is a church with a sign at the front that says “Pray for the political prisoners”, and Castro’s government no longer has the strength to make them take it down. Every time they’ve tried to make even the most remote churches do something, the peasants in the area have poured in to support the churches in mass numbers.

  7. Mike M Says:

    I went to Korea last year and took a tour of the DMZ. The South has various propaganda devices on hills facing the North, such as a big series of lighted panels to flash messages across the border.

    One of the propaganda symbols is a prominently displayed cross.

    I had always thought that it was kind of a strange thing to use as propaganda. Apparently the South Koreans know what they’re doing…and it looks like they’re winning the battle for hearts and minds.

  8. Percy Dovetonsils Says:

    But… but… Bill Moyers wrote that Christianity was evil, and Christians were working solely to despoil the environment and…

    Are you saying Bill Moyers could have been wrong??? I am shocked, shocked.

  9. CALIFORNIA YANKEE Says:

    North Korea’s Disintegration

    The Times of London reports on Chairman Kim’s dissolving regime: In interviews for this article over many months, western policymakers, Chinese experts, North Korean exiles and human rights activists built up a picture of a tightly knit clan leadersh…

  10. Vanya Says:

    This NK story may be some of the best news of the year. Christianity has been a force for liberation in Korea for a long time – under Japanese colonialization many Koreans became Christians as a protest against the “Japanification” policy of Imperial Japan.

    I have to disagree unfortunately with the first poster – the Orthodox Church played almost no role in bringing down Communism in Russia. It is a tragedy how degraded and compromised that institution is, it will be generations before it truly recovers.

  11. utron Says:

    Vanya–

    “…the Orthodox Church played almost no role in bringing down Communism in Russia.”

    I’m no expert on this subject, but the role of the church may have varied in different regions of the Soviet Union. I had a fairly lengthy relationship with a woman from Georgia who loathed Communism, and she had nothing but praise for the role of the Georgian Orthodox Church and its patriarch in leading the independence movement there.

  12. C'est Moi Says:

    Fox News has a story about N.Korea “declaring war on long hair”. I stink at making links, so just go to their site and check out the story (if y’all haven’t already).
    It’s amazing. Their country is falling apart and they think if they dictate MORE minutae in their citizens’ lives, then all will be well again. Sigh…

  13. rosignol Says:

    Wow. If another member of the axis of evil crumbles in the wake of the Iraqi election, we’re going to have to start darting liberals with prozac before their heads explode.

    Even scarier: this would mean they Trey Parker and Matt Stone would be two-for-two in lampooning despots who fell from power shortly therafter.

    The mullahs might want to send those guys a big check to make sure their next movie is about some country in Africa.

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