Like many senior churchmen, Vogel’s youthful Christianity was tainted with a hint of Marxism.
In 1975, Vogel co-wrote with well known, Marxist-Leninist, Mike Gourley an article for “Canta” entitled “God Speaks out Against Oppressors” in which he claimed that “Christ is the True radical“.
The following year, Vogel was active with Gourley and several other Marxists in Canterbury University’s “Third World Action Group“. Maoist influenced, the group shared members with HART, CORSO, the Student Christian Movement (a “Christian” socialist organisation) and other radical groups.
Vogel entered the Presbyterian Church and has worked hard to expand ties to the Church’s counterparts in Asia. Among then he has worked with the Christian Conference of Asia, well known for its strong socialist leanings.
Vogel was for a time in the ’90s a chaplain at Auckland University and also studied Chinese there. He also established a Chinese church in Howick.
Vogel has served on the Executive of the Conference of Churches of Aotearoa/New Zealand and is a key spokesman for the Presbyterian Church on such burning spiritual issues as climate change.
“New Zealand has an opportunity to take international leadership on the issue of climate change. New Zealand will always be a small contributor to reversing global climate change, but we can play a strong role both practically and symbolically.”
In fact, having a fairly small population within a fairly well-forested land, New Zealand could in time go beyond the Kyoto Protocol,”
Rev. Vogel is a leading member of two pro North Korean bodies, the Korean Peace Committee and its parent, the NZ/DPRK Friendship Society.
Vogel serves as the Society’s Aid and Development Co-ordinator and so is involved with channelling church and NZ government aid into North Korea.
You will be pleased to know that Vogel has worked hard to raise funds to buy a new tractor for the NZ Friendship Farm.
Formerly the Haksan Cooperative Farm, located in Hyongjesan District, about 20 km from the centre of Pyongyang, the farm was re-named in early 2004 to celebrate three years of diplomatic relations between NZ and DPRK.
Explains Rev. Vogel…
The farm is a state cooperative which provides cheap food for the urban population in Pyongyang and a minimum subsistence to the farm workers. Built into that system is the incentive for the farm families to produce a surplus from which they can profit personally by selling in the open market. There is also an incentive for the cooperative to produce more goods which are allowed to be sold for profit in the open market. This is coming close to maximising possible production, given the farming technologies being applied. That this is occurring within in a state controlled system is rather remarkable. Some 310 hectares (ha) are planted to rice each year, 205 ha to vegetables with most of the balance being devoted to fruit trees. Around 860 families live on the cooperative. The total population is 3,010. The cooperative’s workforce numbers 1,640 persons, 40% of whom are female.
In 2004, Vogel travelled to Pyongyang, as Co-Convener of Global Ministries of the Presbyterian Conference of Aotearoa/NZ, in order to develop relations with the Korean Christian Federation.
According to Christianity in the DPRK FAQ
The most important task of the federation is to lead Korean Christians to work for the construction and reunification of our country. In order to promote the reunification, we maintain close relations with many organizations including the World Council of Churches and Christian associations in foreign countries to ensure their support for the peaceful reunification of the Korea Peninsula. As the solidarity of the whole nation is the only way to realize a lasting peace in our country, Christians in north and south Korea and overseas should be united first.
New Zeal salutes this great man, Stuart Vogel for the selfless work he is doing for the toiling masses of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
May the radiance of peaceful Korean nuclear energy, which is only eclipsed by the brilliance of the great Kim Jong Il, light the path of Stuart Vogel as he spreads the Godly message of Korean Unification to the toiling masses of Asia.
May the writings of Kim Jong Il guide comrade Vogel through the dark forest of US Imperialist propaganda that seeks to extinguish the burning light of the Juche way of the self reliance of the Korean working class.
Juche! Juche! Juche! Comrade reverend Vogel.