When Hippie Evangelists Roamed The Streets Of Pyongyang: The Story of Christianity Before It Went Underground In North Korea

Once, Pyongyang was the “Jerusalem of the East”, home of a thriving Christian community. After the ascendancy of Communism, Christians were labeled as “antagonists” and isolated in much the same way as recently in the United States, military lecturers were telling recruits basically the same thing!

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SUSA-Korean“Professor H” graduated from Seoul USA’s Underground University, our twelve month training program for North Korean defectors called to serve as missionaries wherever North Koreans are found. He recalls a time before the Korean War, before the ascent of Kim Il Sung, before the extermination of Christians and the burning of Bibles, when Pyongyang was the Jerusalem of the East and hippie evangelists freely roamed the streets of the city. Professor H writes:

Once upon a time before the Korean War, there used to be many churches in Pyongyang. I can remember seeing the crosses on the many steeples all over town. Pyongyang was even called the Jerusalem of the East.

We even had long haired hippie Christians in those days! I remember them evangelizing on the main street in the daytime, shouting out “Believe in Jesus and go to heaven!” But then the social and economic reforms of…

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