North Korean defector-turned-U.S. citizen Yeonmi Park recently explained what happens to people in her native country who are found with a Bible. Park said there was virtually no concept of God when she was living in North Korea, with punishment befalling anyone openly entertaining or worshipping the Lord. “When the communist comes …they first kill the concept of God because they become ‘God’ themselves,” she said. “So … if you own a Bible, you and your entire family get punished.” Reading Scripture and holding Christian meetings can tragically lead to the same dire impact if discovered by officials. Park, who is out with a new book, “While Time Remains: A North Korean Defector’s Search for Freedom in America,” shared her own story of escaping North Korea and facing horrific conditions in China before being rescued by Christian missionaries.
As for her personal faith voyage, she explained how the birth of her son transformed her perspective. She spent years tired of having beliefs forced upon her, but her pregnancy left her thinking deeper. “I came to America and I had my son,” she said. “I think that’s when I realized, I cannot have done that. That was just a pure miracle how he had come out of me … a wonderful human being.” The wonder of childbirth, mixed with her own story of making it out of North Korea and into America — an extremely rare feat — got her thinking even deeper. Listen to Park explain: “What are the chances of me being here and making it this far?” Park asked rhetorically. “I think there has been always a greater … source, something in me or in the universe from me here that I cannot totally understand.” She said she is now a Christian and prays to “understand the world better.” Park is hoping her new book sparks deeper conversations about current affairs among Americans.
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