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On China’s Treatment Of North Korean Refugees

WHEREAS, All people are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and therefore deserve respect; and

WHEREAS, Jesus has taught that all people are our neighbors (Luke 10:29-37), and therefore deserve aid and care; and

WHEREAS, The regime of Kim Jong Il has subjected millions of North Koreans to severe conditions of economic hardship, religious persecution, and literal enslavement; and

WHEREAS, Those who are disfavored by the regime are treated with savage brutality; and

WHEREAS, The prison and gulag system of North Korea is a vast detention system, where North Koreans are imprisoned for conscience, political, religious, and other reasons; and

WHEREAS, These prisoners are subjected to such barbaric acts as starvation, forced abortion, rape, severe beatings, gas chambers, and death; and

WHEREAS, This tyranny has driven hundreds of thousands of North Koreans to seek refuge in China; and

WHEREAS, Numerous international human rights organizations have identified those who are fleeing as refugees, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and

WHEREAS, The government of China has refused to acknowledge the refugee status of North Koreans who have sought refuge in China, instead rounding them up and returning them to North Korea, where they face certain imprisonment, beatings, and even death; and

WHEREAS, China has signed the 1951 United Nations Convention Related to the Status of Refugees and its related 1967 Protocol as well as the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture, which clearly oblige China not to repatriate refugees who are likely to face persecution and torture; and

WHEREAS, The President of the United States, George W. Bush, has drawn attention to the tragic plight of North Korean refugees and their unlawful treatment by the government of China by issuing a stern and compassionate statement describing the presently unknown fate of refugee Kim Chun-Hee whom China returned to North Korea; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, appeal to the government of China to acknowledge the refugee status of those North Koreans who have entered their country to escape the brutal tyranny of Kim Jong Il and his regime; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we implore China to fulfill its obligations to grant the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees full access to North Koreans in China; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all the nations of the world, especially the United States, to receive these North Korean refugees; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on the United States Congress to adopt legislation modeled on the 1970s Jackson-Vanik legislation, that restricted United States trade with the Soviet Union and other countries in response to their severe restrictions on the emigration rights of their citizens, in response to China’s grossly unlawful and inhumane treatment of North Korean refugees; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pledge solidarity with the citizens of North Korea, and especially the North Korean refugees, who are persecuted for conscience sake, remembering that our Baptist forebearers endured severe persecution from ruling authorities for conscience sake; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptists and all our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray that God will turn the heart of Kim Jong Il to grant to all the people of North Korea the respect they deserve as God’s creation (Proverbs 21:1).