Pray for John Short and for the people of North Korea

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He’s courageous, this is my husband’s character. I hope things get better -- he's in God's hands, we both totally believe that.

Karen Short

A South Australian man has been detained in North Korea for distributing religious material.

John Short, 75, a former member of the Unley and Elizabeth Global Hall Brethren, was arrested by the public security bureau of North Korea on Sunday and faces 15 years in jail under the harsh regime of Kim Jong-un.

He has been questioned in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital and its largest city, about religious pamphlets printed in the Korean language and believed to be in his possession.

According to a recent United Nations report North Korea’s leaders should be brought before an international court for a litany of crimes against humanity that include exterminating its population.

A hard-hitting report on the nuclear-armed totalitarian state also strongly criticised its denial of basic freedoms of thought, expression and religion, and its abduction of citizens of neighbouring South Korea and Japan.

“Systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, its institutions and officials,’’ said the report by the Commission of Inquiry on North Korea set up in March 2013 by the UN Human Rights Council.

“In many instances, the violations of human rights found by the commission constitute crimes against humanity. These are not mere excesses of the state; they are essential components of a political system that has moved far from the ideals on which it claims to be founded,’’ the report said.

“The gravity, scale and nature of these violations revealed a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.’’