Why is North Korea so utterly irresistible to proselytizing Christians?

That is a fair point. But I don’t know of any such doctors who willfully violated the laws of the land or the terms of their visa in order to intrude where they were clearly not welcome. Or any that went into a country with the clear and expressed intent of overthrowing the established governmental organization.

Further, their medical practice remains within the scope of what is already culturally accepted in the community in which they work, without any necessity to first convince the people of its efficacy.

For those interested in picking at the Scab of Stupid Posts.

I leave it to the more experienced Dopers to puzzle out what my signoff means this time.


I don’t think they should be killed or imprisoned but I’m finding it difficult to muster up sympathy for someone who willingly puts himself at that risk for something I consider trivial at best and a dangerous lie at worst

You can defend it all you want, the numbers say otherwise and your own cite does not back you up.
As for why the discrepancy? I personally will not offer as factual positions I have no cite for.

This is out of bounds for this forum, don’t do it again.

My apologies then - I should have edited that out too.


No, because MSF workers accomplish good things which can be directly observed and measured. Sure some doctors can be a bit full of themselves, but they’re accomplishing something. Missionaries are just there to make themselves feel better, by collecting souls for God.

I don’t think religious missionaries are incapable of doing good works; many have built schools and orphanages and set up charities of all kinds. But those tend to be workers from religions that place an emphasis on charitable works rather than evangelism (Catholics, Anglicans, non-crazy protestants, etc.)

Evangelist missionaries rarely accomplish anything of value.

I knew there was no way you were going to pay attention to that part.

One difference; the missionaries building schools and orphanages generally only do so in countries in which they’re welcome. And they’re open about it, unlike the guy leaving a Bible behind in a hotel room in Pyongyang.

Let’s get back to the OP at hand and stop the bit of hijack.

It seemed to start from this post:

…which, by the way, is also out of bounds for this topic/forum. Take the debate/hijack somewhere else and don’t make posts like this again.

My answer was clear and directly addressed that part of your question. The goal of evangelist missionaries is to convert people. They are not doing charity or accomplishing anything of value.

The difference between DWB and missionaries is that the doctors usually go in there with neutral intentions to help out anyone who’s hurt. They don’t usually make waves to try to convert people to a political or religious view. They don’t try to purposefully antagonize the ruling faction and dare them to arrest them and beg for a response from the world. They are happy doing their jobs with little or no publicity, confining their work to an unbiased view of simply healing people to health

Missionaries, by their definition, go in with an agenda and try to get as much sympathy, coverage, or attention as they can within safe parameters (or sometimes unsafe) to bend a religious or political ideology to their own. By this very nature and going into places where they are usually unknown or unwelcome, they are against the ruling faction.

A doctor would probably help out someone in the ruling faction actively engaged in hostilities because that’s their humanitarian mission, though they probably would draw the line if that person was going to go back to fighting and killing others. Would a missionary help out an opposing religion by spreading that religion’s message for them? I doubt it.

That doesn’t really have anything to do with the issue, which is the matter of personal danger. The Constitution did not stop people from murdering Civil Rights workers in the South. It was very dangerous. Conversely, the US Constitution holds zero power for an American who chooses to, say, travel to Canada, but that is hardly a dangerous undertaking.

The question the OP is asking is why people do something that appears to be singularly dangerous.

I’d assume that they are not going into other countries and performing actions against local law as part of (or the sole) reason for being there. Should they do so, and should they be arrested for it, my sympathy for them would also be limited.

You’ve equated “not welcome” with “illegal”. Evidentally you regard the NK goverment as representing the religious position of the NK people.

On the evidence of the large gulag, the number of emigrants, and the reported fear by the Chinese goverment of a mass exodus, I would say that belief was questionable.

With a unicorn as his caddie.

That is so unfair to the Great Leader! He merely shot a 38-under score of 34 strokes that included a much more reasonable 11 aces. Sheesh, you exaggerate things like that and no one is going to believe them…

But they tend to support the death penalty for crimes like, you know, murder or rape not proselytizing.

The OP may as well ask why the flame is so utterly irresistible to moths.

God often does miracles. Look up Brother Andrew of “God’s Smuggler” fame (LINK) who smuggled bibles to communist countries and other areas even during the height of the cold war. God truly performed miracles with Brother Andrew which allowed him to smuggle bibles into countries which didnt allow them. Often he would place them in plain sight of police and God would blind the guards.

The Bible talks about the early christian missionaries like Paul and John being imprisoned for their work. In fact most of the disciples were executed for being missionaries.

Truly if the person is being lead by the Holy Spirit, and does things exactly as God leads them and is careful, then they wont be caught. And even if they are that is also part of God’s plan. Your article mentions missionaries who’ve been caught in NK but how many of them were not?

Christians are required to stand up for their faith even in the face of danger. Remember Deitich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor who stood up the the nazis (LINK).