North Korea on Monday deported an Australian missionary detained for spreading Christianity in the country, saying he apologized for his anti-state religious acts and requested forgiveness.
Authorities in North Korea had arrested 75-year-old John Short for secretly distributing Bible tracts near a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang on February 16.
KCNA said North Korea decided to expel him in part out of consideration for his age.
North Korea’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but in practice only sanctioned services are tolerated by the government. Defectors from the country have said that the distribution of Bibles and secret prayer services can mean banishment to a labor camp or execution.
North Korea typically frees foreign detainees after they’ve admitted their crimes, but many say after their releases that their confessions were given involuntarily and under duress.
[AP]Tags: John Short, missionary, north korea