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Outgoing Letters and Public Statements

November 15, 2016

The Honourable Stephane Dion, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Dion,

RE: Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, detainee in North Korea since early 2015

I write to you regarding Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, Pastor of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga. Rev. Lim, who is in his early 60s, was accused of subversion or “hate crimes against the state” by the North Korean Supreme Court on December 16, 2015 and sentenced to hard labour for life. He has been detained since January 2015.

According to reports by Canadian diplomats, Rev. Lim has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in North Korea since August due to his deteriorating health. This has been of great distress to his family, who had concerns for his well-being after seeing Rev. Lim in an interview with CNN in January of this year.

Pastor Lim travelled to North Korea 110 times over twenty years. His efforts there included support for a nursing home, a nursery and an orphanage. During the North Korean four-year famine that killed an estimated 500,00 to 600,000 people, Rev. Lim rallied his large (3,000 member) church to respond with aid to the people of North Korea.

We are grateful for all Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian government are doing to secure the safe release of Rev. Lim. We understand you were able to meet with North Korean official Ri Yong Ho in Laos last July to discuss Lim's case. We strongly encourage you in these efforts, particularly in light of Rev. Lim’s worsening health.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (which represents 43 denominations, 66 ministry organizations, and 38 educational institutions across Canada) echoes the request of Rev. Lim’s family - his wife, Geum Young Lim, and son, Sung (James) Lim, and the members of the Light Presbyterian Church – that the Canadian government use all accessible means to quickly return Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim to safety here in Canada.

 

Sincerely,

Julia Beazley, Director, Public Policy
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

Outgoing Letters

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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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