A Canadian megachurch pastor who has been detained in North Korea since January spoke at a recent press conference to “confess” his plans to overthrow the country’s government and establish a theocracy in its place. Hyeon-Soo Lim, the pastor of a 3,000-member church in Toronto, said he was detained because of a “subversive plot” to create a new “religious state.”
In a prepared statement, Lim said, "The worst crime I committed was to rashly defame and insult the highest dignity and the system of the republic.”
Christianity Today reports North Korea has detained multiple other Christian pastors and missionaries in the past, but this is the first time the country has used alleged plans to start a theocracy as reasoning for detainment.
Lim was detained while in North Korea for humanitarian work; the pastor’s church had been involved in the country for nearly 20 years.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs department is working to secure Lim’s release. Canada and North Korea have severed consular ties, but Sweden is campaigning on Canada’s behalf.
Publication date: August 4, 2015