Open Doors USA: Pope Francis Should Go to North Korea
David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, an organization that has supported persecuted Christian minorities for more than 60 years, is adamant that Pope Francis should accept Kim Jong Un's expected invitation to visit North Korea—a country that has ranked No. 1 on the Open Doors World Watch List of the most dangerous places for Christians for 17 straight years.
Curry, whose organization launched NorthKoreaExposed.com—a definitive resource on a country with one of the most ruthless human rights records of the 21st century—had this to say:
"Would a meeting between Pope Francis and Kim pave the way for desperately needed religious freedom in North Korea? No one can say for sure. But in challenging times, people of faith must act in faith. This meeting could be the small step the world has been waiting for that will lead to bigger steps toward improved human rights under the Kim regime.
"Respectfully, I say to Pope Francis, go. Go and go boldly. Have an open discussion with Kim, who has offered to warmly welcome you. Ask him to loosen the regulations that have suppressed the free expression of Christian faith and other religions. Ask him to allow you and other humanitarian partners to visit and assess the condition of religious prisoners in labor camps. Offer to connect Kim with advisors who can help North Korea shift its policies toward religious tolerance and create open distribution channels to make Bibles and other religious materials accessible. I implore you. Do not allow this rare moment to pass, as it has been 18 years since a pope has had such an opportunity. This chance may not come again in our lifetime, and North Koreans cannot afford to wait another 18 years.
"And to Kim, I say, this is your chance. This is your chance to redefine how the world looks at North Korea, to show that you can endorse the basic human freedoms necessary to partner with other leaders in the free world."
- Curry is available for interviews concerning religious freedom in North Korea.
- NorthKoreaExposed.com is a comprehensive source of in-depth information on the country's ruthless human rights record and persecution of Christians.
About Open Doors USA
For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit OpenDoorsUSA.org.