Mourning The Affects of Sin
By Matthew Castro
The world is broken. If you read the news on any given day, you will agree with my assessment of the world. I was reading an article in The Wall Street Journal yesterday by Eun-Young Jeong about women fleeing North Korea. Most of those, who succeed in escaping North Korea, end up in forced prostitution, sex slavery, or forced to marry Chinese men. If you don’t know about the nation of North Kora, which is located near China, Russian, and South Korea, North Korea has been ruled by a ruthless dictator named Kim Jong-Un, who has followed closely the leadership style of his late father, Kim Jong-il. During Kim Jong-il’s rule in the mid-1990s, the nation collapsed into a devastating famine, which killed more than 400,000 North Koreans. Kim Jong-un rules with absolute power, and the people have virtually no individual rights.
North Korean women looking for freedom outside of the hellish conditions of their homeland enter into another form of slavery. 60% of defectors from North Korea are trafficked into the Chinese sex trade, according to a new report from the U.K-based Korea Future Initiative. Many are forced into prostitution, others sold into marriages or forced to perform cybersex acts for online viewers. Many of those who are trafficking these women work for criminal organizations that earn millions on the sale of these women.
The industry of trafficking women from North Korea has a supply and demand problem. The supply is not meeting increase demand. Jeong wrote, “Under dictator Kim Jong Un, tighter border controls have made it harder to escape, increasing the risks and the price of smuggling people out of North Korea. The clampdown has led some brokers to turn to selling women and girls to recoup lost earnings, the report found. At the same time, the increased availability of cheap connected devices such as smartphones has fueled demand for sexual content.” Demand is high for sexual content, and the need for women to be sold into sexual slavery to meet demand is high. Many women have been abducted by these traffickers or forced into sexual exploitation to increase the supply of sexual content.
These women have no choice in these situations. A 24-year old female, who escaped from the Hamgyong province in North Korea, said in an interview, “I had no money when my broker helped me cross the river, so I felt it was reasonable. How else would my broker get the money?”
Jeong explained that it takes women years or even decades to escape servitude once they leave North Korea. Yoon Hee-soon from the the Korea Future Initiative said, “Most North Korean women forced into prostitution do not escape to South Korea. Many are trafficked and re-trafficked throughout China and even to Japan, Macau and Hong Kong.” This may be the saddest statement made. They escape one hell to enter into another. Many don’t escape. They are sold from one buyer to another like cattle.
Do we as Christians mourn the brokenness of the world? Jesus in John 11:33 is recorded as being greatly troubled by the death of Lazarus. John wrote, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jesus mourned the brokenness of the world, which was illustrated in the death of Lazarus. God is the God of the Living. He created his creatures to live and prosper. Yet, sin brought brokenness and death into the world. The godly reaction to the brokenness of the world is mourning.
Our mourning should lead to prayer for the victims of sin. These women are victims of the sin of others. North Korea leaders have sinned against these women by failing to care and protect them. This has caused them to need to defect. Paul wrote in Romans 13:3, “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval.” However, these ruler are a terror to good and bad conduct. They have failed to be God’s servant, and have replaced God with themselves. Therefore, we should mourn, and pray that God would bring relief to the people of North Korea. May the gospel be allowed to be administered to the people. May the outbreak of the spirit of God bring peace and love to a war torn and famine land.
The sex traffickers have sinned against these women. They have sold these women to evil men and organizations, who abuse them for profit. These women are treated not as image bearers of God, but as cattle or goods. May the gospel also come to these women in the darkness of their slavery in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and other places. May relief comes to these women, who are abused and beaten. God created them in his image. They reflect the nature of God. May God’s spirit revive them and give them peace.
Those, who have bought these women or paid for their service in a brothel, have sinned against these women. They have used them to satisfy sexual desires that are not holy and pure. Sex was created by God to be enjoyed between a husband and wife, who have both committed themselves to each. Sex performed by money transaction mocks the purpose of God for sex. These women were forced into these situations without concern for their needs or desires. May repentance come to those who bought these women or paid for their service. May judgment come upon them for their wickedness. May those who have profited from sexual sin be judged. May freedom from these men and organizations be given to these women. May the industry itself be destroyed.
Those, who viewed the sexual content created from these women, have also sinned against these women. This is where the story hits closer to home. For many of us we can read this story, and feel we have little to do with the evil actions of others. Yet, as the story explained, the demand of online sexual content has increased the need for more content. With the increase availability of cheap online devices, more and more people are buyers of porn. Christians are no exception to those disturbing trend. The church must first start with repentance. We have not helped the current climate, rather many Christian men eagerly join the waiting queue for more sexual content to digest. Customers are supporters of every part of the business. An ignorance is bliss approach will not work. The church is called to mourn the affects of sin, pray for God’s sovereign will to bring healing to the broken and hurting, and then prudently go and be the hands and feet of God’s work on earth. We can’t mourn the affects of sin, while at the same time participating in the sin ourselves. Repent of our own sin against these women. Mourn the brokenness of sin. Pray for God’s healing on these women. Go and love these women.