Um, What?! North Korea Says Billy Graham Thought Kim Il Sung Was God

To celebrate the 104th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung on Friday, the official state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, didn’t just wish the late supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea an “HBD” and move on. Because, as every spouse knows, you always have to top last year’s present, Rodong Sinmun got bold and claimed that “even foreign religious leaders think Kim is comparable to a god.” And, that’s right, included among these leaders is Billy Graham. The famous evangelist reportedly said:

Having observed the Supreme Leader Kim Il Sung’s unique political leadership, I can only think that he is God. If God is the leader of another world, savior and ruler of the past and future life that exists in our imagination, I acknowledge the Supreme Leader Kim Il Sung is the God who rules today’s human world.

Later in the article, Graham is quoted as expressing understanding that the North Koreans did not allow him to preach: “Kim is this world’s God. Why would a country like this need the Holy Bible?”

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Sounds like classic Billy. Well, not surprisingly, representatives of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association expressed bewilderment over the alleged comments. “While Billy Graham made two trips to North Korea and knew the elder president Kim Il Sung, Mr. Graham has not said anything like this,” said Jeremy Blume, a spokesman. “These words do not even remotely resemble Mr. Graham’s theology or his language.”

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