Freed American: Yes, I Planted Bible in N. Korea

Jeffrey Fowle admits he was trying to help 'underground' Christians
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2014 11:29 AM CDT
Freed American: Yes, I Planted Bible in N. Korea
Jeffrey Fowle talks about being detained in North Korea.   (AP Photo/Skip Peterson)

When North Korea imprisoned American tourist Jeffrey Fowle, it accused him of planting a Bible in a bid to spread Christianity. A family spokesperson denied at the time that he was on a religious mission, but now that he's free, Fowle admits that Pyongyang was right. "I did, I knew I was going against the laws of the DPRK," the Ohio resident tells the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Having seen the plight of the people, I knew about the severe Christian persecution. I wanted to help them." The 56-year-old says he left the Bible in a public bathroom under a trash bin.

The next day, a tour guide asked the group if anyone had left anything behind, and Fowle, whose name was on the Bible, raised his hand. He got detained two days later at the airport in Pyongyang and remained in custody for nearly six months. "I knew it was a risk, that I was taking a gamble, but I felt compelled to do that to aid the underground church in some small way," Fowle tells the AP in a separate interview. The married father of three is back to work Monday with the streets department in the city of Moraine. The city paid him during his absence, but his bosses have made clear that he'll lose his job if does something like this again. Two Americans remain detained in North Korea: Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae. (More Jeffrey Fowle stories.)

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