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North Korea: In Trouble for Telling the Truth

North Korea

Note: To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this Web site and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes are edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.

Cheerleaders in Jail
News reports in early 2006 told a strange story. The reports said that several cheerleaders were sent to prison in North Korea. Some people say the cheerleaders were arrested for talking about things they saw on a trip to South Korea.

The North Korean government sent cheerleaders to athletic games in South Korea three times in recent years. The cheerleaders surprised and impressed everyone with their perfect-looking performances. But later, a prison inmate who escaped from North Korea said he had seen some of the cheerleaders in prison.

Reporters are not sure if the cheerleaders are really in prison for “talking too much.” But it would not be unusual for North Korea to punish people for speaking the truth.

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A Pencil Gets Courage

North Korea

Pencil was scared. His three friends, Eraser, Paper Clip, and Pen, had just been arrested. Pencil and his friends were Christians in North Korea. The North Korean government has harsh rules to control the activities of believers. The three Christians were arrested for sharing the gospel.

Pencil was a Christian too, but he was too shy and scared to share his faith. When he tried, his mouth became dry, his hands shook, and he couldn’t make the words come out of his mouth. He was even more fearful after his friends were arrested.

Pencil and his friends had learned about Jesus from a Chinese Christian worker. The Christian encouraged them to use nicknames to make it harder for the police to know who they really were. So the friends had chosen the names of school supplies for their nicknames.

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