Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has issued a harrowing report of religious persecution inside North Korea.
The report, Total Denial: Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in North Korea, was made public on September 23rd, and claims that freedom with respect to religion, or any belief contrary to the state’s communist ideology, is “largely non-existent.”
Christians, who are forced to practice their faith in secret, are often the targets of persecution, and those discovered are sent to concentration camps and forced into hard labour. They are also subjected to sexual violence, torture and “extra-judicial” killings.
“Documented incidents include Christians being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled under-foot,” the report claims.
CSW’s report is not the only report to document the brutal anti-Christian regime in Kim Jong Un’s North Korea. Earlier this year, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom also said in its report that Christians who have participated in acts of worship, studied the Bible or possess a church hymnal” are typically jailed, or worse.”
“In prison, Christians reportedly endure harsher treatment than other prisoners. It is estimated that tens of thousands of Christians in North Korea are currently in prison camps facing hard labour or execution,” the USCIRF report said.
According to CSW, state leaders in North Korea, who demand absolute obeisance to Kim Jong Un, suppress Christianity because they believe it is solely a religion of the West and Christians are spies for the United States and other First World powers.
However, followers of other religions, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Shamanism and even the native Korean religion Cheondoism, are also frowned upon.
The CSW report also documents China’s deportation of North Korean refugees who are able to escape the country. Refugees who come into contact with missionaries are particularly ill-treated, the report said.
The CSW report concludes that North Korean officials are highly unlikely to change, given the country’s emphasis on “self-reliance” and total devotion to the Kim family.
There are an estimated 200,000-300,000 Christians in North Korea attending as many as 500 underground churches, according to the report, but only a handful of state authorised churches, which are usually empty.
- Pray for Christians in North Korea. Pray for their faith to grow strong in the face of the persecution and oppression they face each day.
- Pray for North Korean Christians in prison. Pray that they will know the comfort and protection of the Holy Spirit around them and their families.
- Pray for the North Korean Government, that many officials will encounter Christ Jesus and come to realise the truth of His Gospel and grace for themselves.
- Pray that the Church will continue to grow in North Korea, that believers will have opportunities to meet together and encourage each other, and that the Gospel will spread through this nation to reach many lives for Christ.
Romans 8 vs 38 – 39: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.“
Source: http://christianexaminer.com/article, http://www.persecution.org