North Korea arrests Australian Christian missionary for handing out Gospel tracts


John Short

By Stoyan Zaimov

The North Korean government has arrested an Australian Christian missionary for handing out Gospel tracts, with the family of the 75-year-old man fearing he could face up to 15 years in prison.

“My husband does what he believes is what God wants him to do,” Karen Short said of her husband, John, who was arrested at his Pyongyang hotel on Sunday, according to Australian news site ABC.

“Without sounding strange, that’s him, he’s a man of faith. We’re faith missionaries and he believed that we should care and not just talk but do something.”

Short said that this was her husband’s second trip to the Pacific country, and he knew that handing out religious material is an illegal activity there.

“Ultimately, we’re in God’s hands and that’s how we look at it,” Short added, noting that the Australian government has promised to try and help with the case.

“Our interests in North Korea are represented by the Swedish embassy and we have been in close contact with Swedish officials in Pyongyang to seek their assistance in confirming that Mr. Short is well and that we can get as much information as we can from them,” Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said.