USA – President Donald Trump has said he addressed the plight of persecuted Christians during his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea has for the last 17 years been ranked as the No. 1 persecutor of Christians on the planet by Open Doors USA, a Christian persecution watchdog group. The organisation said 50,000 to 120,000 Christians have been confined in prison camps, where conditions remain deplorable.
Trump’s announcement that he did bring up religious freedom during the summit encouraged David Curry, president of Open Doors USA.
“I brought it up, absolutely. They will work on that. Christians, yes,” Trump said, according to Charisma News.
“Franklin Graham spent and spends a tremendous amount of time in North Korea. He has it close to his heart. It did come up and things will be happening,” he added.
The evangelist in Trump’s remarks, Franklin Graham, has a rich family history in North Korea. His mother, Ruth Graham, attended high school in Pyongyang in the 1930’s. His father, Billy Graham, visited the communist country in 1992 and 1994.
Franklin Graham has also made four humanitarian trips to the North while leading Samaritan’s Purse in a variety of campaigns to help the North Korean people.
This engagement has led him to speak directly with President Trump on several occasions about North Korea, urging him to pay attention.
“This conflict needs to be settled,” he told CBN News during an interview Tuesday. “I’m 65 years old so my entire life we’ve basically been at war with North Korea.”
“I think the North Koreans have been wanting to talk to the Americans for a long time and this is the first administration that they’ve been able to talk to directly like this,” the evangelist told the news outlet.
Graham, according to CBN, believes the North Koreans are a prideful people and that the Trump administration has engaged them well.
“The North Koreans just want to be shown respect and other administrations brushed them off like they were nothing,” he said.
Graham noted that the summit will begin to ease the North Korean government’s persecution of Christians.
“I want the communist government to know that Christians are not their enemies,” David Curry told CBN News on Friday.
“They have the potential of being the very best citizens in the country because God commands all of us to pray for those that are in authority.”
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history on June 12 when they shared a smile and a lingering handshake before their nations’ flags and the anxious eyes of the world.
The two came together at the opulent Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island for the first-ever meeting between a North Korean ruler and a sitting U.S. president to begin talks aimed at denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.