by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - China is cracking down on a phenomenon that has allowed North Korean defectors to receive Bible teaching across the border in the communist superpower to the south.
In the most recent instance in 2017, thirteen families part of a South Korean missionary group were expelled from the country after it was revealed the government had been tapping their phones and emails since 2014, later having charged them with “being missionaries.”
“What we have seen in the past 18 months to two years has been a steady crackdown on the part of Chinese officials on South Korean missionary activities in China aimed at helping North Koreans,” Eric Foley, CEO of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, told the Christian Post last year.
The northeast of China that borders North Korea has naturally seen the most assiduous attempt by the government to eradicate the presence of South Koreans, with the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang having been the site of hundreds of deportations of South Korean Christian workers in 2015 and 2016.
China has been home to a community of North Korean defectors since a famine struck that country in the 1990s, presenting an opportunity for South Koreans who long to share the gospel with their brethren.