‘Oldest Manuscript’ of Gospel of Mark Discovered

‘Oldest Manuscript’ of Gospel of Mark Discovered

An ancient and much-debated fragment of the Gospel of Mark has been dated to the late second to early third century A.D., making it the oldest fragment of Mark ever found.

The Egypt Exploration Society made the announcement about the fragment – known as P.Oxy LXXXIII 5345 – on its website May 24.

“After rigorous comparison with other objectively dated texts, the hand of this papyrus is now assigned to the late second to early third century AD,” the society said.

The society added that “the two sides of the papyrus each preserve brief traces of a passage” from Mark. It was found around 1903 along with many other ancient documents, the society said.

It is the same fragment that helped set off a debate in 2012 when news leaked that the fragment could date to the first century, which would have made it the oldest fragment of the New Testament ever found and would have placed it within the lifetime of some of the biblical characters.

Still, its dating to the late 100s or early 200s is significant, experts say.

“Much talked about old fragment of the Gospel of Mark has finally been published as P.Oxy. 5345 by @TheEES, which dates it to late second or early third century. If so, then it’s the oldest manuscript of Mark thus far identified and published,” professor Craig Evans wrote on Twitter. Evans is the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at Houston Baptist University.

Peter Gurry, assistant professor at Phoenix Seminary, agreed.

“It’s not first century after all. Still, it’s the earliest dated copy of Mark’s Gospel which is exciting!” Gurry wrote on Twitter.

The earliest-known fragment of the New Testament dates to about 125 A.D. and is from John’s Gospel, Baptist Press reported.

Ways to Combat School Violence

(Editors note  1-Do not allow your child to play violent video games)

Like many, I am deeply concerned about school violence. A massive shift has occurred. Talking, chewing gum and making noise were the top three public school problems in the early 1960s. Currently, rape, robbery and assault could lead the list.

Education expert William Jeynes correlates the decline in public schools with the Supreme Court’s 1962 and 1963 decisions to remove Bible reading: “One can argue, and some have, that the decision by the Supreme Court – in a series of three decisions back in 1962 and 1963 – to remove Bible and prayer from our public schools, may be the most spiritually significant event in our nation’s history over the course of the last 55 years.”

That decision had enormous implications that will continue unless we make drastic changes. Granted, how can we promote prayer in schools when prayer in the church is at an all-time low?

Tighter guns laws have some merit as long as law-abiding citizens are not restricted. However, guns are not the problem – sin is the problem. Will we outlaw pipe fittings to prevent pipe bombs and cars to prevent road rage? Of course not. Cain killed Abel with a rock. The human heart is the problem.

ourtesy: ©Thinkstock/ronniechua

2. BRING GOD BACK INTO THE SCHOOLS.

I remember a time when we weren’t embarrassed about God. Teachers and administrators would willingly share their faith. Now, evolution is taught as fact, and God is portrayed as a fairy tale – when in reality, evolution is a fairy tale and creation is a fact. In the same sense that this article did not write itself, we are not here by random chance. Kids need to know that they are made in the image of God and that their Creator loves them and will guide them if they turn to Him. Bringing God back into the schools will reverse everything from violence to bullying to depression.

Secular groups have been pushing their agenda far too long. “Separation of church and state” is their battle cry. The courts have misused the infamous “separation” phrase to ban religious activities, primarily those promoting Christian principles. Thomas Jefferson used the phrase in 1802 in a private letter written to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut. The Baptists feared that the government might try to regulate religious expression. They were assured that this would not happen. Ironically, we are seeing this today.

In other words, the people did not want the government imposing a national religion on the people. Jefferson wisely agreed with them. His statement was intended to protect religious expression by building a wall of separation between the church and the state; solidifying the fact that the federal government could not strike down religious freedoms.Ironically, the public school system was first introduced in the 1600s to teach kids the Bible. Scholars were born through Princeton and Yale. God was embraced, not replaced. America, wake up! We can unapologetically acknowledge the sovereign hand of God on our campuses. Acknowledgment is not establishment. I pray that local school districts don’t cave in to political correctness; difference makers should make a difference.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com

3. ALLOW HOPE ONTO THE CAMPUS.

When I inquired recently if pastors could help students after a local school shooting, I was told that they have many trained secular psychologists who can help. In short, pastors aren’t allowed on campuses. Remember, “separation of church and state.” The irony is that those who can offer lasting hope are not allowed on campuses. Granted, I’m not talking about being aggressive and proselytizing unwilling students. My recommendation is that (after a thorough vetting process), certain Christians are allowed on campus as encouragers and change agents, building up those who are bullied and offering hope to the hopeless.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com

4. BRING GOD BACK INTO OUR HOMES.

As the family goes, so goes the nation. Violent video games and movies do nothing but foster violence. For example, in Grand Theft Auto, kids can have sex with a prostitute, take back the money, and set her on fire. Parents, for the love of God, wake up! Turn off the media and invest in your children.

Ironically, the missing element that few want to talk about is the fact that mostshooters are taking psychotropic drugs to deal with emotional pain. Therein lies one of the main problems. Homes resemble a volcano ready to erupt rather than a loving, nurturing environment. And our media choices instill fear, violence, and sexual perversion. In short, we are reaping what we are sowing in our homes.

Parents should be the spiritual leaders in our homes; our absence has caused an epidemic. The majority of youth suicides, runaways, rapists, and high school dropouts are from fatherless homes. Also remember, we don’t have to leave home to be absent; we can check out mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and lead our family astray. If we fail to train our children, society will do it for us.

Many who have been interviewed after a suicide attempt talk about feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. They see no way out. By bringing God back into our homes and schools, we can impact the next generation at a very deep level. Parents must repent of their apathy and turn completely to God to be changed from the inside out, which, in turn, will change the atmosphere of our homes, schools, and country.

We are witnessing the tragic results of people dying spiritually. We must point people to the true source of healing, or violence will only escalate. Xanax, OxyContin, and Vicodin will never replace repentance, renewal, and restoration through Jesus Christ. We have sown to the wind and are reaping the whirlwind. In addition to violence increasing, SAT scores have sunk to the lowest level since the college admission test was overhauled in 2005. Unless the Lord builds the house, he who labors, labors in vain. Unless the Lord builds the school, he who labors, labors in vain.

 

 

The Pro Gay Marriage Bishop

Royal Wedding Pastor Michael Curry Is Pro-Gay Marriage--Should it Matter?

Royal Wedding Pastor Michael Curry Is Pro-Gay Marriage–Should it Matter?

Christians across the globe were inspired by Bishop Michael Curry’s message about love during the royal wedding Saturday, but many of those same Christians then debated whether his views on gay marriage and LGBT issues should matter.

In 2015 he was installed as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, becoming the first African-American leader of the predominately white denomination. But before that, as a bishop in North Carolina, he was “one of the first to allow same-sex marriages to be performed in churches there,” The Washington Post reported.

When the Anglican Communion penalized the Episcopal Church for its stance on gay marriage, Curry drew parallels between the struggles of African Americans and of those in the LBGT community.

“I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain,” he said at the time.

On Twitter over the weekend, Christians and others debated whether Curry’s stance on gay marriage should matter.

“Fascinating that so many Christians who are against LGBT people are lauding Michael Curry, a priest who openly marries gay people and welcomes them in. Lack of fact-checking or just choosing not to see?” wrote one person, Siân Duffin (@Siannie81).

‏Robin Self (@triplejaymom), wrote, “For those praising Bishop Michael Curry for bringing the royals ‘to church,’ as a bishop in the Episcopal church, he is pro abortion, blesses gay marriage, and is highly active in the social justice movement. About as ANTI-Church as you can get.”

Man Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Kills One, Wounds Four in Knife Attack in Paris

PARIS — A knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” killed one person and injured four others on Saturday in a popular tour district in Paris. He was killed by police minutes later.

“France has once again paid in blood, but will not give an inch to the enemies of freedom,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

According to reports, Khamzat Azimov, a 20-year-old French resident who was born in Chechnya, began randomly attacking passersby in the Opera district around 8:47 p.m. as the streets were filled with people. He tried to enter several bars and restaurants, but was prevented by those inside.

 “I will kill you! I will kill you!” Azimov shouted at the responding officers, according to Reuters.

Police tried to taser the assailant, but as it did not subdue him, police resorted to using lethal gunfire.

“The attacker came down this road here with his hands covered in blood, holding a knife up in the air,” Oliver Woodhead, owner of L’Entente Restaurant, told the outlet RT. “We had three policemen on foot here, and he went toward them. They tried to taser him twice; it didn’t work.”

“He then managed to isolate one of them and move down the street, trying to attack him,” he continued. “There were two shots fired, and he was shot dead two meters in front of the restaurant.”

One of the victims of the knife attack died from their wounds, and two others are listed in serious condition.

The matter is now being investigated as a terror attack. Azimov had reportedly been marked a national security threat two years ago.

“At this stage, based on the one hand on the account of witnesses who said the attacker cried ‘Allahu akbar’ while attacking passersby with a knife, and given the modus operandi, we have turned this over to the counterterrorist section of the Paris prosecutor’s office,” said Prosecutor Francois Molins.

The barbaric Islamic group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the act, but it is not known whether Azimov had ties to the organization.

As previously reported, Paris has suffered a number of terror attacks in recent years, including a strategic massacre in 2015 at the office of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a publication known for cartoons mocking the Muslim prophet Mohammad and other Islamic figures. The suspects, who had yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ in carrying out the attack, were later killed in a standoff with police.

Mitt Romney Criticizes Pastor Slated to Pray at Opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem

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Senate candidate and former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney objected to the inclusion of Pastor Robert Jeffress in the opening of the new embassy in Jerusalem. He brought up comments Jeffress made about other religions in the past and said it made him a poor choice for the occasion. Romney stated on his Twitter account Sunday that, “Robert Jeffress says ‘you can’t be saved by being a Jew,” and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.’ He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.”

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Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, responded to Romney without mentioning him by name. “Historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith alone in Christ. The fact that I, along with tens of millions of evangelical Christians around the world, continue to espouse that belief, is neither bigoted nor newsworthy.”

Jeffress spoke out about Mormonism in the early stages of the 2012 Republican Presidential primaries. Jeffress introduced then Texas Governor Rick Perry before the Value Voters Summit, calling him a “true follower of Jesus.” Afterward, Jeffress spoke with reporters and told them that the Mormon Church is a cult. Jeffress later told reporters that he did not understand the controversy surrounding his comments since they reflected the views held by most evangelicals. He said at the time, “The idea that Mormonism is a theological cult is not news either. That has been the historical position of Christianity for a long time.”

Jeffress is slated to give the opening prayer at Monday’s ceremony. He told Fox & Friends that he intends to pray for three things. He said he will thank God for “his faithfulness to Israel for 4,000 years,” citing the occasion as another fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12. Then, he said he will thank God “for the strong leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” because he “is determined to protect his people.” Jeffress also stated he would “express gratitude for our tremendous President, Donald Trump.”

CNN reported that Pastor John Hagee will also take part in the ceremony. Hagee says he told President Trump that his decision to move the embassy would guarantee him “political immortality” because he has “the courage to do what other presidents did not have the courage to do.”

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Five ISIS Leaders Caught After Three Month Long Intelligence Operation

(Worthy News) – At least five senior Islamic State officials have been captured in a three-month operation by Iraqi and American intelligence that involved phone apps and the breaking of secret bank accounts and communication codes, according to news reports.

The captures were announced Wednesday on Iraqi state TV, which broadcast images of four of the detainees wearing yellow prisoner jumpsuits.

President Trump, in a tweet on Thursday, said only that “Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured.” [ Source: USA Today (Read More…) ]

‘Don’t make it easier to change sex’, trans people say

Transsexual people have spoken out against Government plans to make it easier to ‘change sex’.

In a letter to The Guardian, seventeen transsexuals who have undergone full sex reassignment surgery said they were “deeply concerned” about removing safeguards from the Gender Recognition Act.

The Government says it wants to allow people to legally change sex by ‘self-declaration’.

‘Over-the-counter’

This would strip away current requirements: to have lived as a member of the opposite sex for a minimum of two years and have a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

The letter’s signatories said that replacing the current process for changing sex with an “over-the-counter style self-declaration” blurs the distinction between those who have had surgery, and those who have no intention of doing so.

They said it was problematic when male-bodied people “demand the rights afforded to women as a protected sex, including access to their private spaces”.

Suppress

It continued: “We fear that these proposals will not only put women’s rights at risk but also damage our credibility in society.”

They called on politicians to “show courage and facilitate dialogue valuing all affected groups”, adding that they “absolutely condemn all attempts to suppress this debate”.

However, some activists have hit out at Channel 4 for allowing one of its programmes to debate transsexualism at all.

Genderquake

The controversial Genderquake series features eleven young people, of whom only two are heterosexual and identify as their birth sex.

In an open letter, trans activists objected, accusing the broadcaster of “complicitly offering anti-trans bigotry an ever-larger media platform”.

LGBT campaigner Dr Adrian Harrop added: “It’s an absurd debate, it’s absurd and outdated and antiquated conversation that I am not prepared to shed any legitimacy on.”

Channel 4 said that it is “committed to providing space for debate and discussion about the big issues that are affecting society”.

23 Major League Baseball Teams to Host Homosexual ‘Pride Night’ in 2018

At least 23 of the 30 major league baseball teams plan to host a homosexual “Pride Night” during the 2018 season, leaving just two teams to have never held such an event—the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels—and even then, the two still support the sin of homosexuality by other means. The other five teams have hosted Pride Night in years past.

The majority of the teams plan to hold their events during June, which homosexual advocates observe as “Pride Month.” Pride Night includes various gestures of support, such as the display of a rainbow flag, the offering of homosexual-themed merchandise, the presentation of a homosexual choral group or the zeroing in on homosexuals for kiss cams.

Some teams specifically highlight their scheduled Pride Night on their website.

 “The Phillies invite you to celebrate Philadelphia’s rich LGBTQ culture at our second annual Pride Night Celebration at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, June 28 at 7:05 p.m. when the Phillies host the Washington Nationals,” writes the Philadelphia Phillies. “All members of the LGBT community, as well as family, friends and organizations are invited to come out and show their pride at this event.”

The St. Louis Cardinals additionally are offering a rainbow-themed t-shirt to attendees of their upcoming Pride Night, and plan to donate a part of the ticket sales to a homosexual advocacy organization.

“Pride St. Louis and the St. Louis Cardinals are partnering to present the 2nd Annual Pride Night at Busch Stadium on Friday, August 17,” their site reads. “Join LGBT friends, family, and allies to watch the Cardinals take on the Milwaukee Brewers.”

“With the purchase of a special theme ticket, fans will receive a Cardinals t-shirt with a rainbow STL logo. A portion of each ticket sold will benefit Missouri Courage Scholarship, which is the first, and largest, state-wide LGBTQ scholarship organization in Missouri,” it states.

The major league team says that it plans to present a men’s choral group singing “God Bless America” prior to the game.

The Boston Red Sox will hold a pre-game “pride party” and the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus will perform the national anthem at the June 7 game.

Other teams scheduled to offer Pride Night include the Minnesota Twins, the Milwaukee Brewers, the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves, the Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Mariners, the Oakland Athletics, and the Washington Nationals.

LifeSite News reports that while the New York Yankees have not hosted a pride-themed evening, as they do not offer themed games of any kind, they do support “organizations that assist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths.” The Los Angeles Angels also sell pride rainbow shirts on their website.

As previously reported, Christians believe that all men are born with the Adamic sin nature, and have inherent inclinations that are contrary to the law of God, being utterly incapable of helping themselves. It is why Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7 that men must be regenerated by the second birth.

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” he declared. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

2 Corinthians 5:15-17 also teaches, “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. … Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Jesus additionally outlined in Matthew 19:4-5, “Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh?’”

Trump welcomes NKorea plan to blow up nuke-site tunnels

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 North Korea said Saturday that it will dismantle its nuclear test site in less than two weeks, in a dramatic event that would set up leader Kim Jong Un’s summit with President Donald Trump next month. Trump welcomed the “gracious gesture.”

In a statement carried by state media, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said all of the tunnels at the country’s northeastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion, and observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed.

Kim had already revealed plans to shut the test site by the end of May during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month. Analysts say that while the closure of the site is important, it doesn’t represent a material step toward full denuclearization.

“A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25,” depending on weather, the Foreign Ministry’s statement said, adding that journalists from the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Britain will be invited to witness the dismantling.

The ministry said the North will continue to “promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighboring countries and the international society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe.”

Trump, in a tweet Saturday, thanked North Korea for its plan to dismantle the nuclear test site, calling it “a very smart and gracious gesture!”

Following the Moon-Kim meeting, Moon’s office said Kim was willing to disclose the process to international experts, but the North’s statement Saturday didn’t address allowing experts on the site.

South Korea had no immediate response to the statement.

The North’s announcement comes days after Washington announced that the historic summit between Kim and Trump will be held June 12 in Singapore.

South Korea has said Kim has genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits. However, there are lingering doubts about whether Kim would ever agree to fully relinquish the weapons he probably views as his only guarantee of survival.

During their meeting at a border truce village, Moon and Kim vaguely promised to work toward the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, but made no references to verification or timetables.

North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of “denuclearization” that bears no resemblance to the American definition. The North has been vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

Some experts believe Kim may try to drag out the process or seek a deal in which he gives away his intercontinental ballistic missiles but retains some of his shorter-range arsenal in return for a reduced U.S. military presence in the South. This could satisfy Trump but undermine the alliance between Washington and Seoul.

Kim declared his nuclear force as complete in December, following North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test to date in September and three flight tests of ICBMs designed to reach the U.S. mainland.

North Korea announced at a ruling party meeting last month that it was suspending all tests of nuclear devices and ICBMs, as well as the plan to close the nuclear testing ground.

Kim said during the meeting that the nuclear test site’s mission had come “to an end” because the North had completed developing nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles, ICBMs and other strike means.

The North also said for the first time at the meeting that it had been conducting “subcritical” nuclear tests. These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion.

North Korea’s reference to such activity is designed to communicate that even without underground testing, the country intends to maintain its nuclear arsenal and be a “responsible” steward of those weapons at the same time, said Andrea Berger, a senior analyst at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Still, the closure of the underground testing site could be a useful precedent for Washington and Seoul as they proceed with the nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang, analysts say.

“Now that North Korea has accepted in principle that agreements should be verified, U.S. negotiators should hold them to this standard for any subsequent agreement,” said Adam Mount, a senior defense analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. “It will make it more difficult for Kim Jong Un to deny inspections now that he has placed them on the table.”

North Korea has invited the outside world to witness the dismantling of its nuclear facilities before. In June 2008, international broadcasters were allowed to show the demolishing of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the U.S. and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package worth about $400 million.

But in September 2008, the North declared that it would resume reprocessing plutonium, complaining that Washington wasn’t fulfilling its promise to remove the country from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The administration of George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in October 2008 after the country agreed to continue disabling its nuclear plant. However, a final attempt by Bush to complete an agreement to fully dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons program collapsed that December when the North refused to accept U.S.-proposed verification methods.

The North went on to conduct its second nuclear test in May 2009.

North Korea Frees American Christians

North Korea Frees American Christians

Three Korean American evangelicals held as prisoners in North Korea for at least a year are now on their way home, President Donald Trump announced in a tweetthis morning.

“I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting,” the president wrote.

Pompeo was said to bring up the plight of the Christian prisoners—Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song, and Kim Sang Duk—during his initial visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a month ago.

Their release comes as President Trump prepares for a historic meeting with Kim Jong-un as early as this month. Trump also said in his tweet that Pompeo had another “good meeting” and that the date and place had been set for when the two heads of state will meet.

The three Christians spent between a year and three years detained in North Korea, and two previously worked at a private university in the country’s capital.

The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) is mostly staffed by Christian professors who are forced to keep their faith private due to the dictatorship’s severe restrictions on religious expression.

Professors Kim Hak Song and Kim Sang Duk were arrested last May and charged with “hostile” acts against the government, the same erroneous charge levied against missionary Kenneth Bae, who was released in 2014. Kim Dong Chul was arrested in 2015.

Leading up to the proposed denuclearization talks between Trump and Kim Jong-un, Christian religious freedom advocates Open Doors had lobbied for the President to push for the American prisoners’ release. “We simply cannot afford to let these Americans stay another day on North Korean soil,” Open Doors USA CEO David Curry stated.

Trump hinted at their possible release a week ago and will greet them when they land late tonight.

This morning, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford—himself a Southern Baptist and outspoken advocate for religious freedom—called the release of the prisoners “the key thing North Korea could do to send a good message” prior to the Trump meeting.

This is the first time in six years, since before Bae’s arrest in 2012, that North Korea has no US citizens in prison.

Trump tweeted that all three of the released prisoners “seem to be in good health,” a contrast to the last American released—college student Otto Warmbier—who was in a coma and died days after arriving back in the United States last June.

Last year, ailing Canadian pastor Hyeon-Soo Lim was also released in poor health.

North Korea ranks as the worst country for Christian persecution on the annual Open Doors World Watch List, and the organization estimates that beyond the foreign nationals detained there, many of the country’s own citizens—including around 50,000 believers—are being held in detention centers, prisons, or political camps.

“I want Trump to address the 250,000 prisoners in North Korean prison camps. And the hunger citizens face,” one freed North Korean Christian said. “I would like to see Kim Jong-un encouraged to open the door and take on the economic reform process. This is the beginning step to becoming a democratic society.”

Christians have been praying for months for the upcoming meeting and the possibility of peace on the Korean peninsula.

A group of Christians including National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson, Sojourners president Jim Wallis, author Eric Metaxas, and Evangelicals for Social Action executive director Nikki Toyama-Szeto released a statement in March addressing the ongoing diplomatic talks with North Korea.

“We pray for wisdom for our political, diplomatic and military leaders as they work across differences toward a goal of peace, security and freedom,” it said. “We pray that God will bless the efforts of citizens who seek to bridge the vast differences between our countries