INVITE: Join us for Save North Korean Refugees Day

You’re invited! Join us for Save North Korean Refugees Day

September 24th, 2015

Events are being planned worldwide by the North Korea Freedom Coalition for Save North Korean Refugees Day on September 24th, 2015. The situation facing North Korean refugees in China is worse than ever before. Ever since the reign of Kim Jong Eun’s terror began, the situation for North Koreans seeking freedom has gotten worse as part of Kim’s efforts to stop North Koreans from escaping his tyranny. Complicit in this reign of terror and assisting the regime’s crimes against humanity is President Xi Jinping in China. This makes the annual Save North Korean Refugees Day critically important to focus on this issue that receives such little attention, but could be solved overnight if China simply followed its international treaty obligations.

Thus, the coalition needs country and city volunteers around the world to help with plans for the annual Save North Korean Refugees Day. This year the coalition is especially targeting action in the countries that are major trading partners with China. The level of involvement is up to the individual coordinators, but the one requirement is that a letter/petition be delivered to the People’s Republic of China embassy or consulate in those targeted cities on that day. Events are also being held in solidarity, including film screenings, prayer vigils, etc. For example, in Washington, D.C., in addition to the delivery of a petition, an evening candlelight vigil will be held.

For those in the Washington, D.C. area: Please consider helping hand deliver petitions to the Chinese embassy, as well as attending a special event hosted by NKinUSA and a special Candlelight Vigil held at 8 pm across from the Chinese embassy. More details to follow. 


Are you located in one of the following cities and interested in volunteering for Save North Korean Refugees Day?

  • USA (Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco)
  • Hong Kong, Japan (Tokyo, Nagasaki, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka)
  • Repulic of Korea (Seoul, Busan, Jeju-do, Gwangju)
  • Taiwan (Taipei)
  • Germany (Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich)
  • Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Perth)
  • Malaysia (Kuching)
  • Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo)
  • Russia (Moscow, Khabarosk, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk)
  • and more!

If you can help with these plans, please contact the North Korean Freedom Coalition!

Contact Now!

 

Legalizing prostitution is not the answer

Fr. Shay Cullen

There are some deadly aspects of prostitution where women are victims of different forms of bondage; situations where they suffer and are abused but cant escape from. Sex workers are victims of exploitation, coercion and violence. That is the norm and practice of prostitution and it works against sex workers and is a terrible violation of their civil and human rights.

“Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse,” said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty in a statement. “Our global movement paved the way for adopting a policy for the protection of the human rights of sex workers which will help shape Amnesty International’s future work on this important issue.”

In so far as protecting and saving women from stigma and violence and discrimination in the prostitution business, yes Salil Shetty is correct we must stop it and free the women from all blame and truly victims, exploited and abused people.

Many are working for those same goals. I have been at it for 43 years and have seen nothing but sex slavery and exploitation by the pimps, bar and brothel operators. So to give a free pass to the buyers of sex, the pimps and procurers and exploiters of women is not right. The AI declaration wants to make legal the sex for sale business as a whole.

According to a report in TIME magazine;  ” The resolution recommends a policy that would decriminalize all aspects of adult, consensual sex work, while still classifying coercion into sex work or having sex with a minor as a major human rights violation. The resolution is intended to protect adult sex workers from stigma and abuse by decriminalizing aspects of sex work including buying sex, pimping and operating a brothel”.

However while prostitution is technically illegal in the Philippines that is only on paper.  It is openly practiced and even encouraged by the local government leaders who issue permits and licenses to the bars and brothels and the criminal aspect of abuse and exploitation is totally ignored.  It is in practice decriminalized.

What have we got as a result of ignoring the woman abuse and not enforcing   the law?  We have one whopping big sex tourist industry all over the country where thousands of young girls are forever made sex-slaves in bars and brothels on street corners and in houses of prostitution. They are doomed to a life of being less than human.

They are controlled, used and abused for the sexual gratification of the rich and well off. They are treated like sex machine for the pimps, brothel operators and their foreign and local customers. The Philippines authorities, especially the church going ones and long silent church leaders, have the reputation of being the white painted sepulchers of society. The policy declaration of Amnesty International will play directly in their hands.

To declare that the whole criminal business of prostitution be decriminalized so as to protect the human rights of the sex workers opens the way for greater exploitation by traffickers, pimps and brothel owners and managers recruiters and sex tourists. The law in Sweden is more balanced, the women are treated with respect and are not charged with any crime but the pimps, recruiters and customers are penalized with violations of the law.

The whole business practice of making women dependent on a pimp or employer who sells them to sex customers is repugnant and is unworthy of the status and dignity of women and as a trade in human persons is intrinsically evil and criminal in nature. The notion of prostitution as a clean orderly legal business where no one is harmed or hurt, where all can be free from debts and threats and make free choices is at odds with reality. Eighty percent perhaps of prostituted women in the world are forced into it or held there by force.

Sex workers are the prisoners of a criminal gangs and sex bar syndicates that are highly organized, they trade women like cattle and are bent on enslaving and controlling as many women as possible in dehumanizing conditions for as long as possible. Declaring that this can be legal is not going to help the sex slaves and protect their human rights. They will be enslaved all the more.

In Europe many countries have already passed laws decriminalizing prostitution and we see now many more mega brothels around Europe with very young girls from the Eastern countries and from Asia working there without passports or the freedom to leave.  Many who escape tell horrifying stories of abuse and enslavement. The rights of sex workers who are EU citizens may be protected but not the girls from outside Europe. The young girls in the sex bars of  the Philippines are frequently found to be underage with fake papers.

Whoever came up with that policy in Amnesty International is not being true to   the great and noble reputation and tradition of AI one of the world’s leading human rights organizations with wise and sensible policies and practices. It has been spot on in all it’s great campaigns its present leaders have gone beyond commonsense and are ideologically convinced and motivated but unaware of the   the reality of the cruel human condition of sex workers in dire circumstances.

We need more action to rescue and give a life of dignity and sustainable employment and education to the women trapped in prostitution not legalize it.

VIDEO: Escaping Persecution: Nigeria’s Christian’s Under Siege

 

Persecution of Christians continues to persist in Nigeria. Watch the below video, produced by In Altum Productions, that highlights the persecution that Christians endure in Nigeria. Join us as we pray for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ to be strengthened during persecution.

 

Praise Report: South Sudanese Pastors Freed

Yesterday, August 5th, our prayers were answered. After nearly eight months in prison the South Sudanese pastors have been released.

Originally charged with at least six criminal offenses, the pastors were found guilty of one allegation each. The judge of the Khartoum North Central Court, Ahmed Ghaboush, found Pastor Yat Michael guilty of breaching peace (Article 69) while Pastor David Yein Reith was found guilty of taking part of a “criminal or terrorist organization” (Article 65).
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The judge, who was believed to be in favor of the prosecution, was reported to have stated, “The sentence they served in prison is enough, release them immediately and return the mobile phones and laptops.”

The families of the pastors were both happy and relieved and were reported to have been rejoicing, singing, and crying tears of joy.

After South Sudan gained independence in 2011, Sudan has dedicated itself to being a Muslim nation. The case of the South Sudanese pastors brought pressure on the judge, who was striving to balance local expectations of upholding Sharia law while also respecting international human rights.

Though the pastors have been released, persecution among Christians persists. During the years following South Sudan’s independence more than 200 expatriate Christians were deported from Sudan, most of them to South Sudan. In addition, the government of Sudan has stated that it will not allow new churches to be built nor will it offer new land for the churches that have been destroyed. The government has continued to confiscate the land of churches and arrest believers.

In June, 12 Christian women were arrested in front of their church as they were exiting the worship service in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, for wearing trousers and skirts in public. The women were aged between 17 and 23 and are from the Nuba mountains, an area that borders South Sudan. The group was charged under article 152 of the criminal code that prohibits “indecent dress”.

Although we count the release of the pastors as a victory, we must continue praying for Christians in Sudan as persecution worsens.

Thank you to all who sent letters to the Minster of Justice of Sudan and to all who continue to pray for Christians in Sudan.

 

 

Nepal Seeks to Restrict Religious Freedom

Following devastating earthquakes in April and May which killed thousands of people many Christian aid organizations and churches around the world have raced to send aid to feed and shelter Nepali villagers and to rebuild their crumbled homes.  Soon after Christian charities responded with desperately needed aid to survivors nationwide, the Nepali constitutional drafting committee has responded by removing religious freedom from the draft Nepali constitution.

The drafting of a new constitution has been ongoing for the last seven years in Nepal, following the collapse of the 240 year old Hindu monarchy.  Recently, a disturbance occurred in the Constituent Assembly by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal (RPP Nepal) demanding that Article 31 of the Constitution, which to an extent protects religious freedom, be amended. As a result, the three major political parties (Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal/Unified Marxist-Leninist, and Maoist) have agreed to completely remove the provision and any protection. The chair of RPP Nepal said that the party is fighting for the return of the Hindu Kingdom by abolishing the secular state.

Concerns had been raised about whether Article 31 would have provided full protection to each Nepali citizens to choose his or her religion, particularly its third clause.  Article 31 had stated that “Every person shall have the right to profess, practice and protect his or her own religion according to conviction and the freedom to separate oneself from any religion” and “Every religious denomination shall have the right to maintain its independent existence, and, for this purpose, to operate and protect its religious sites and religious trusts, in accordance with law.”  However, the third clause contained this anti-conversion language, “In exercising the right entrusted by this article, any act which may be contrary to public health, public decency or morality or incitement to breach public peace or act to convert another person from one religion to another or any act or behavior to undermine or jeopardize the religion of each other is not allowed and such act shall be punishable by law.”  This broad anti-conversion language reflects similar laws in affect in several states within the neighboring country of India and which laws have at times been used to justify the arrest of pastors and violent targeting of prayer meetings and Bible studies. nepali-christians

Nepalese citizens fear that simply discussing one’s religion could be seen as an act of conversion and therefore punishable. This anti-conversion clause of Article 31 was viewed as threatening by Nepalese Christians, which comprises about 1.4% of the population.  Reports have indicated that those who are found guilty of breaking the anti-conversion clause could serve a sentence of up to five years in prison or fined up to 50,000 Nepalese rupees.  Thus, the clause would also discourage conversion to be seen as a positive individual choice, and would jeopardize the freedom and livelihood the Nepali people who chose to leave the Hindu faith of their forefathers.

In 1990, the prior monarchy had removed from the Nepali constitution in effect at that time similar constitutional and legal threats to the freedom of religious choice, which imposed prison terms of seven years and forced reconversions.  Dozens of Nepali Christians had been imprisoned prior to the removal of the anti-conversion laws related to the 1990 constitution.

As the country recovers from the massively destructive earthquakes it endured in April and May of this year, it is urgent that the Nepalese government finalize a constitution that not only provides a stable structure of government, but ensures peace and religious freedom throughout the country. Restoring the first two clauses of Article 31 would accomplish that.

Nepali Christians are calling for the international community to urge Nepal to abide by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which the country has ratified. Article 18 of the Covenant states:

“Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”

During the past 25 years, the Nepali church has enjoyed freedom and equality within the society and have demonstrated their constructive and productive participation in all aspects of society building, despite years of strife caused by the Maoist insurgency.  Nepal should not retrogress to the pre-1990 imposition of the religion of one’s forefathers upon its citizens and again punish anyone seeking to chose his or her own faith.  Instead, at the urging of Nepali Christians the new constitution should abide by the country’s international obligations and protect each person’s fundamental right to choose his or her own religious beliefs.