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.
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:
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|
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.|