A group of well-meaning Christians have set up a supply drop to the vulnerable people of North Korea. They send their supplies via hydrogen balloon, complete with GPS technology to help direct the balloons. It’s a very well thought out endeavour, except for one small thing – the supplies they are sending are bibles and religious tracts.
Christianity is completely banned in North Korea. It’s estimated that around a third of the Christians in the country are in concentration camps, and the rest are very much underground. It’s really not a good place to be a Christian (or anyone else who doesn’t worship the great Kim Il Sung). The trappings of Christianity are contraband, and anyone who is caught with a bible is sent, along with three generations of their family, to prison.
Wait, hold up. North Koreans are at risk of getting their entire family sent to jail for owning a bible, and these Christians are sending them bibles? What the hell are they thinking? Sure, some might fall into the right hands and be stowed away in the undetected secret stash, but far more are going to land on land owned by non-Christians, people who aren’t asking for trouble. How many of them are going to be jailed because some short-sighted missionaries want to get bibles into the hands of the persecuted church of North Korea? I’m pretty sure that ‘it fell out of the sky’ isn’t going to fly too well with the police over there.
Then there are the Christians. By sending these bibles, the missionaries are condemning many of their brethren, along with their elders and their children, to prison. Their actions will be directly responsible for the captivity of three generations of family, and I can’t imagine that life in a North Korean jail is particularly pleasant.
Religious idealism here is putting people at risk, and I can’t imagine that the North Korean Christians are benefiting all that much from it. Why can’t they send muesli bars instead? It would mean so much more to so many more people.