Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
NGO to aid North Korean Christians
Voice of the Martyrs to disburse 80,000 dollars worth of necessitiesScreenshot of the Voice of the Martyrs website
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- January 5, 2011
The Canadian office of the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), an interdenominational NGO, will send basic necessities, stationery, medicine and the Bible to North Korean Protestants who have been secretly practicing their faith despite the oppression from authorities there, the organizationÔÇÖs spokesperson told Radio Free Asia (RFA).
The RFA on Jan. 4 reported that the NGO will be sending in US$80,000 worth of goods to 1,600 underground Christian families during the first half of 2011.
The money came from their last yearÔÇÖs campaign to raise fund for the Christians in North Korea.
NGOs in China that have good relations with the organization will help with the consignment of goods, the spokesperson said.
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in communist Romania for his faith, founded VOM in 1967.
According to ÔÇťOpen Doors,ÔÇŁ another NGO which serves persecuted Christians worldwide, North Korea has 200,000 underground Christians.
North Korea officially guarantees freedom of religion and there are several religious organizations of Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, and followers of Chondo-gyo, an indigenous Korean religion. However, the country has only one Catholic and two Protestant churches, all in Pyongyang. Catholic Church sources say persecution of Christians has increased in tandem with recent international conflict on North Korea┬┤s nuclear program.
Refugees slate North Korea on religion