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Christian Group Seoul USA Air-Drops Bibles Over North Korea With Giant Balloons

11/09/2013 12:06 pm ET | Updated Nov 09, 2013

A Colorado-based Christian group is air-dropping Bibles on North Korea.

Over the past year, Pastor Eric Foley and his Christian mission group, Seoul USA, have released around 50,000 40-foot homemade, hydrogen-filled balloons outfitted with Bibles and personal testimonials over rural areas of the country, Fox News reports. Bibles are attached to the balloons in a box or a bag.

In North Korea, citizens are forced to follow the state ideology known as "The Juche Idea." Christians there "are the most persecuted believers on earth," Foley told Fox. He estimates that there are around 100,000 Christians in the country. The network reports that 30,000 of those Christians "are believed to be locked inside concentration camps, where they are overworked, starved, tortured, and killed."

In 2009, a 33-year-old woman was publicly executed in North Korea after being accused of distributing the Bible. Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, was arrested in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of labor for "crimes against the state" in May.

Foley, who is in his late 40s, told Fox that believers in North Korea have a demand for Bibles nonetheless. He and his wife, a South Korean immigrant, first began sending balloons in 2006, from a location in South Korea near the North Korean border.

Even after seven years of sending them up, though, Foley says, "I get choked up, every time, as I let go and watch it take off."

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