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Adventism in North Korea

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My maternal grandfather had photographic memory.  One day he and his friend was reading the news paper and checked out the accuracy  of what they read, they came to an article that there  will be a ship sailing to Hawaii taking the laborers free of passage.  These two people got an idea and boarded the and start to collect fees from those laborers.  On his way (or on the way back from Hawaii)  my grandfather stopped in a port in Japan.  He was walking down the street and reading a sign in front of the church which was rather long "Seventh-day Sabbath Adventist Church" in Chinese characters. A deacon invited him into the church and they conversed in Chinese characters  and my grandfather accepted Adventism and returned to his home, now a suburb of Pyongyang, Noth Korea. the great grand mother of this terrible Kim, Jong Un  was an adventist. This story was told to me by my mother.

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I lived for 35 months in South Korea and I became well acquainted with the SDA leadership.

It was strongly believed that a grandmother of Kim, Il-Sung was a devout Seventh-day Adventist, and that during her lifetime, the Communist leadership in North Korea, knew of her Adventism and respected her.  It was not believed that her husband was a SDA.  

As Kim, Il-Sung had two (2) grandmothers, I am not certain as to which one was the SDA.  Perhaps, it was Li, Bo-Lk?   She was born on May 31, 1876 and died on  October 18, 1959..

I have not been able to document that his grandmother was a SDA.  But, that is understandable.  It is unlikely that the Communist Party in North  Korea would seek this to be well known.   But, I can say that South Korean, SDA leadership believed Kim, Il-Sung to have had a devout SDA grandmother.


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For an interesting article on ministry in North Korea  see:


Seventh-day Adventists began church activities in Chinnampo, North Korea in 1904 through missionary Im Ki Pan. The Church grew in both the north and south until World War II and the Korean War. During the Korean War (1950-1953), many Adventists escaped to South Korea, though some remained in the north

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WHEN Christians had to vacate North Korea, so I was told by a NK Pastor, Adventist were not tortured like the others Christians were. He went on to say because the person in Question went to the Adventist School, this pastor also said the first President of NK was a student there as well. AND he did this because of how the teachers treated him.


Thank GOD for Adventist teachers.

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