This morning, when quickly scrolling through the posts on my Facebook account, all of a sudden my heart jumped up for joy. I read that North Korea was opening its doors for Christianity. That was great news!
However, when I checked the source of this news, it appeared to be a page of the website YourNewsWire.com, which was shared on Facebook. (No need to go that website. First read the rest of this article.) This article has been shared on Facebook for more than 194,000 times!
When reading this article I got an uneasy feeling. Is this really true or is this just playing loose with the facts? It reports the historic meeting between the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and the South Korean president Moon Jae-in on 27 April. Then it continued with the comment of Kin Jong-un that he will now focus on rebuilding his country’s shattered economy. It comments on that that now swords are being converted into plowshares. And then it explains why this all happened: Christians in South Korea had been fasting and praying for the peace summit. Also North Korea’s persecuted Christians had been praying for this event. It then mentions, based on statistics of the U.S. State Department, that the Christian population in North Korea multiplied five times from 2012 to 2017. Then it vaguely speaks about the Korean miracle and refers to Psalm 46. And it concludes with stating that God worked this and now God will also engineer a lasting peace in this part of the world, and open the doors wide for the gospel to flourish in a thirsty land.
Nowhere does it mention an agreement between North Korea and any other party, or anything that Kim Jong-un would have said about allowing Christians into North Korea. The title of this article does not cover the contents of this article. However, many people only read titles and accept that as truth. Unfortunately, many Christians as well.
This article on yournewswire has been taken over (almost copied) from the CharismaMagazine (www.charismamag.org, also not recommended). But at leas there the title still says that North Korea WILL (emphasys added) open its doors to Christianity. There it can still be perceived as a kind of prophecy or expression of hope and expectation. Yournewswire took this element out of their title and now it is going around on Facebook and the internet as if God has worked a great miracle in North Korea.
Yes, God does work miracles, also in North Korea. The mere fact that Christianity still exists in North Korea, is a miracle in itself. Even more that it is growing. Nevertheless, this report is false. There is no basis to state that North Korea has agreed to open its doors to the message of Christ.
It is highly regrettable that Christians participate in uncritically passing on all kinds of messages that are going around on the internet. From time to time I receive emails or read Facebook posts about threats from government agencies either in the USA or other parts of the world to Christianity, which appear to be hoaxes. A bit more due diligence and a quick ‘google’ search can help discover the origin of these message and expose a lot of untruthfulness.
As Christians, the truth must be very important to us and we should not help in spreading false information. PLEASE, be careful in what you forward, or share, or pass on in different ways.
Those who want to do some fact checking, here are some links. I certainly do not recommend these websites, I just post them here so that you can verify the information in this article, if you want:
An interesting fact-checking website which is often helpful in debunking false stories is ‘www.snopes.com‘.