As War Looms, Christians Ranks Grow In Face Of North Korea Persecution

As the international community braces itself for military conflict with North Korea, Christians are suffering increased persecution under the brutal regime.

Reports have ranked North Korea as the deadliest nation on Earth for Christians despite its Constitutional provisions that claims non-discrimination against religious practices. The U.S. State Department and United Nations Commission of Inquiry have officially cited the rogue nation as a significant threat to Christians.

According to a State Department report, “there was an almost complete denial by the government of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and, in many instances, violations of human rights committed by the government constituted crimes against humanity.”

World Watch listed North Korea as the most oppressive place for the practice of Christian faith, noting that in a country where dictator Kim Jong-Un considers himself a god, people of faith pray with their eyes wide open as constant government surveillance puts their freedom and lives at risk.

Christians Suffer Under Regime

In a recent Fox News report, Jeff King of International Christian Concern spoke about the unimaginable horrors faced by practicing Christians under the brutal regime.

“Christians are accused of being imperialists seeking to overthrow the government and those who are caught practicing their faith are arrested, horrendously tortured, imprisoned and (sometimes) immediately put to death.”

On the surface, the communist dictatorship puts on a dog and pony show for visiting international delegations. It controls five “official” state churches and a mosque that are designed to placate foreign dignitaries. Religious “actors” are called up to adorn religious garb and say the words as important visitors are paraded by in a façade that resembles a musical theatre revival.

In reality, Christians are hunted for their beliefs and many live in constant fear of being exposed. North Korea’s despot and his henchmen hate Christianity because of its promise of peace, acceptance and rejection of tyrants such as Kim Jung-Un.

Greg Scarlatoiu, from the committee for Human Rights in North Korea explained that faith “offers an alternative set of beliefs, and alternative way of life, a way of life that does not tolerate tyranny. The North Korean regime fears Christianity…”

Current estimates by organizations such as the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights places upwards of 70,000 Christians in concentration camps and anecdotal reports point to about a 75-percent fatality rate under these conditions. Following the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, several defectors came forward to tell their heart-wrenching stories.

Defector Jun Heo said he suffered religious persecution as a teenager. Sent to a concentration camp, he witnessed men and women being separated similar to the Nazi death camps for Jews. People older than 17 were thrust into forced hard labor. Perhaps the most emotionally stifling aspect were the cries of people from their starved and pain-riddled bodies that pierced the night.

Now a student at South Korea’s Seoul National University, he recalls the mass hunger endured by the population and the “forcible transfer of populations” actions that tear families from their homes in the middle of the night. Many are never heard from again.

The United Nations estimates that 70 percent of North Koreans, including children, are malnourished. About one-third of the people do not have access to health care and more than 5 million exist in a state of squalor. These conditions worsen as the U.N. and countries around the world impose further economic sanctions designed to bring its dictator to heel and stave off a nuclear showdown with the United States.

Christian Ranks Swell in North Korea

Despite living under incomprehensible threat and oppression that can only be likened to the Nazi’s treatment of Jews, North Korean Christians have not been deterred from their love of the Lord Jesus Christ and commitment to their faith. The ranks of Christians have swelled in the face of 16 consecutive years of intimidation, torture and killings. Estimates place Christian numbers at approximately 9 million, or 36 percent of North Korea’s total population. Defectors that have escaped the regime are reporting that Christianity continues to flourish and spread rapidly underground across North Korea.

One such defector, a member of the Seoul-based Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea, went on the record stating: “Even though people know they could be sent to prison, or worse, they are still choosing to worship, and that means that more cracks are appearing in the regime and the system.”

As North Korea and the United States hurdle toward war, Christians will continue to be caught in the crossfire. However, bombs and brutal dictators cannot stem the tide of Christian faith.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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