Soon Ok Lee was a prisoner in North Korea from 1987 to 1992. She did not become a Christian, however, until she escaped to South Korea. When she first received Christ, she was so overwhelmed by her memories of what she had seen and heard in prison.
It was the simple things, like the Christians who sang as they were being put to death. At that time, she did not understand and had thought they were crazy. She was not allowed to talk, so she never had the chance to speak with a Christian. She does remember hearing the word, “amen.”
“While I was there, I never saw Christians deny their faith. Not one. When these Christians were silent, the officers would become furious and kick them. At the time, I could not understand why they risked their lives when they have said, ‘I do not believe,’ and done what the officers wanted. I even saw many who sang hymns as the kicking and hitting intensified. The officers would call them crazy and take them to the electric-treatment. I didn’t see one come out alive.”
It was the singing that stuck with her. Perhaps it was the singing of these precious saints that planted a seed in her spirit and eventually led her to Christ.