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Outgoing Letters and Public Statements

January 26, 2016

Letter to Hon. Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2

Dear Mr. Dion,

I am writing to you regarding Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, Pastor of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, a man in his early 60s, who was sentenced to hard labour for life and accused of subversion or “crimes against the state” by the North Korean Supreme Court on December 16, 2015. 

As you are surely aware, Rev. Lim, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in February 2015 while visiting North Korea on a humanitarian mission. Rev. Lim has, for over 19 years, made more than 100 such trips where his activities included support for a nursing home, a nursery and an orphanage. During the four-year North Korean famine that killed an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 people, Rev. Lim rallied his large (3000 member) church to respond with aid to the people of North Korea.

It was reported by The Globe and Mail on December 20, 2015 that Rev. Lim had met with Canadian officials for the first time since his detention in February 2015. While we are encouraged by this report, we hope the Canadian government will do all it can, within the tight restrictions of the North Korean government, to closely monitor the health and well-being of Rev. Lim while he is incarcerated.

Due to the limited relationship between the Canadian government and North Korea, we understand that leveraging a release may indeed be difficult. However, considering Rev. Lim’s age and the harsh sentence, we implore you and your government to use all and any means available to expedite his soon release.

We are encouraged by the “tremendous concern” Prime Minister Trudeau has expressed over Rev. Lim’s sentence, where he went on to say that he hopes “to be able to engage with this individual and stand up for his rights.”

Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim is an example of one of the most admirable and compassionate Canadian citizens, whose concern for the vulnerable and suffering extends beyond our country’s borders. We will continue to pray for Canadian government officials as they work diligently to negotiate Rev. Lim`s release, and for Rev. Lim and the Lim family during this difficult time.

Please feel free to contact us, should there be anything that can be done to assist through our contacts or office.


Bruce Clemenger, President
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

Outgoing Letters


EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger writes regular commentaries about public policy issues. The EFC magazine Faith Today often publishes articles and essays that examine such issues.

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