I recall my glimpse of North Korea and reflect on the witness of persecuted Christians there over at Think Christian today. An excerpt:
[T]here are those who celebrate Christmas behind the barbed wire, unaccompanied by pageantry or feast. I try to picture them, prisoners in their own country, reading about the Nativity aloud in a climate of repression and fear. Their narratives of suffering seem out of sync with the quiet scene as we imagine it.
But we know not all was calm and bright on the night of our Savior’s birth, either. Such a reality speaks to the whole story of Christ’s coming. I think in particular of Matthew 2:2-13 – of Herod’s murderous jealousy, of Mary and Joseph as refugees in flight to Egypt to keep their son safe. I then think of the young boys back in Bethlehem – the first to die in the name of Jesus. How soon after the manger comes massacre; how soon a mother’s rejoicing becomes mourning.
Photo courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs, taken on my trip in 2009: