Evangelist Franklin Graham is in North Korea, dealing with government officials as a "minister of Christ."
"I do not come to you today as a politician or diplomat," Graham said in Pyongyang, according to the relief agency he heads, Samaritan’s Purse. "I come to you instead as a minister of Jesus Christ with a message of peace – peace with God, peace in our hearts and peace with each other."
Graham, who has been to the secretive communist country once before, arrived on Thursday for a four-day visit. His agenda includes meetings with North Korean officials, a tour of hospitals and relief projects, and a chance to preach at a Protestant church in the nation's capital.
Graham spokesman Jeremy Blume told McClatchy News Service that Graham also hopes to discuss the possibility of improving religious freedom and constructing a church.
"I do not come to you today as a politician or diplomat," Graham said after arriving in Pyongyang, according to a statement released by Blume. "I come to you instead as a minister of Jesus Christ with a message of peace - peace with God, peace in our hearts, and peace with each other."
Last year, Samaritan's Purse sent a 747 filled with $8.3 million worth of medicine and other emergency supplies after devastating floods. The agency also is one of five nongovernmental organizations that North Korea allows to help distribute food inside the country.
Graham says he is encouraged by the status of talks to formally end the Korean War.
“My prayer is that this relationship will grow even stronger, and I pledge to do everything I can to make this happen,” Graham said, according to the Christian Post.
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