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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Date Posted:
4/15/2006

North Korea


The Terrible Lot Of Christians In North Korea


British Church Newspaper

“Subversive. Threat to the position of the Great Leader”.  These words were not used of dangerous criminals, but of Christians in North Korea who are not considered to be normal people, reports Open Doors.

“In North Korea, Christians are regarded as political criminals and in the prison camps they are treated as political prisoners,” according to the refugee Soon Ok Lee and author of the book Eyes of the Tailless Animals.  Kang Chol Wan, a North Korean defector, was imprisoned in North Korea at the age of 10 because his grandfather was branded a political dissident, Often the North Korean government will try to purge three generations of a religious or political dissident’s family. He describes the conditions he experienced:

“At the camp I witnessed public executions, forced labour and other inhumane atrocities. New prisoners in the North Korean political prison camps are taught not to consider themselves as human beings.  The prisoners cannot complain of beatings or even murders.

Kim II Sung is idolised as a God and even tourists are expected to bow down to his statue. Photo - Open Doors

“Even the children are subject to forced labour, and about a third of them die of malnutrition and from heavy labour.  I also suffered from malnutrition three months after being imprisoned lacking even the strength to walk.

“Because we were not given any source of protein, we would catch and eat snakes, frogs or even worms in order to survive.  At first, I did not want to taste these things.  One day my friends caught some rats while working in the fields and roasted them on an open fire.

“That was the first time 1 tasted rat meat, and that one piece of rat meat sustained me.  From then on 1 ate anything to survive: rats, frogs, snakes and worms.  Prisoners who do not do this could die in less than a year.  People like me who are able to eat anything can survive longer.”

It is estimated that 200,000 are suffering in North Korean prison camps where they face cruel abuses.  According to an Open Doors contact, Brother Peter, an estimated 50,000‑70,000 are Christians.  Some think that this hermit‑like regime has detained more political and religious prisoners than any other country in the world.

For the fourth year in a row, Open Doors World Watch List ranked North Korea as the worst violator of religious rights in the world. Christianity is treated as one of the greatest threats to the regime’s power.

The North Korean government has created a class system with three main categories ‑ core, wavering or hostile – with 51 sub-categories.   All religious families are classified as hotile and placed in classes 34-37.

The living conditions in North Korea are horrific.  Prices are high and peole are starving.  An estimated 2-3 million people have died over the past 10 years due to a food shortage.  Fifteen per cent of all children under 5 years of age are malnourished.

“I hope many will pray for my people,” says Soon Ok Lee.  Her hope and prayer is that God will intervene as diplomatic pressure is not helping in this extremely closed country.

There is also a great need to make peole aware that North Korea is the most closed country in the world to the gospel and that Christians are being exposed to severe and at times barbaric persecution. (Open Doors).

North Korean Christians rely on the Lord and discover what a powerful weapon prayer is. They memorise large parts of the Bible.

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