While capitalist South Korea stands worldwide for economic growth and high-tech products, Communist North Korea regularly provides headlines through bitter poverty, famines and military aggression. And there is still a contrast: While religious freedom rules in the democratic south, in the dictatorial north Christians are bitterly persecuted – 1st place on the “Open Doors” World Index of Persecution. And now, the paranoid power holders in Pyongyang feel threatened by a Christmas tower in the neighboring land.

Die “Welt” reports:

North Korea has reacted in outrage against an installation of lights by South Korean church activists on the border with the sealed of country.

It is a matter of an “uncomfortable provocation,” the government news agency KCNA reported. It warned against this form of “psychological waging of war” that could lead to military skirmishes on the Korean peninsula.

Dozens of church representatives installed the lights Saturday on a 30 meter high steel tower in the city Gimpo near to the heavily fortified North Korean border.

Because the Christmas tree stood on a hill, it could be seen for several kilometers inside the North Korean region.

The installation west of the capital city Seoul is to stay lighted until the beginning of January. In impoverished North Korea, the population also suffers from constant power outages.

In contrast with atheist Europe, Christianity is increasing more and more in significance in South Korea and is currently the largest religious community being represented by 29% of the general population.

Posted by PI / Translation: Anders Denken

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