Brian J. Grim is senior researcher in religion and world affairs at the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion and Public Life in Washington, DC. Dr Grim is also the co-principal investigator for the international religious demography project at Boston University Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs, where he co-edits the World Religion Database (www.WorldReligionDatabase.org). His findings on international religious demography and religious freedom have been covered by all the major news outlets, including the BBC, CNN, the Associated Press, and Reuters, and he frequently presents to high-level governmental and nongovernmental groups. Dr Grim has extensive overseas experience. From 1982 to 2002, he lived and worked as an educator, researcher, and development coordinator in China, the former USSR, Central Asia, Europe, Malta, and the Middle East.
Roger Finke is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the Pennsylvania State University and Director of the Association of Religion Data Archives (www.theARDA.com). He has published in numerous social science journals and has co-authored two award-winning books with Rodney Stark: Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion and The Churching of America, 1776990. He is the past president of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture; is a past chair of the American Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Section; and has served as a member of multiple national and international councils, boards, and committees. He is the 2009 recipient of the Pennsylvania State University President Award for integrating research, teaching, and service.
An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.
As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realise that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told “the best on the planet??
Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be twelve years before she was reunited with her family.