North Korea: In detention camps, people are imprisoned, tortured and killed simply for being Christian

October 28, 2020

Persecution of Christians in North Korea: this report breaks through the near-total news blackout that prevails about conditions in this country. Up to now, little news escapes the government’s iron grip, but the Korea Future Initiative report confirms that North Korea is arguably the most dangerous place on earth for Christians. The U.S. State Department has placed North Korea on its list of countries that violate religious freedom every year since 2001. And as this article notes, “in its 2020 Annual Report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) outlined the situation in greater depth: ‘There are no formally registered, independent houses of worship in North Korea. The government has established several state-sponsored religious organizations and permits five churches to operate in Pyongyang. However, human rights groups and defectors from the country allege that these institutions exist merely to provide the illusion of religious freedom.’”

Christians in North Korea are called upon to have the faith and perseverance of the saints and martyrs. There is or was at least one Orthodox parish in North Korea, the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Pyongyang, but its present status is unclear. Please continue to beseech Almighty God for peace and security for the Orthodox Christians and all Christians of North Korea.

For more coverage of the persecution of Christians in North Korea, see here.

“Christian persecution: North Korea horrors laid bare in harrowing report into labour camps,” by Simon Osborne, Express, October 28, 2020:

HORRIFIC details have emerged from North Korean detention camps in which people are imprisoned, tortured and killed simply for being Christian.

A shocking new report from London-based campaign group Korea Future Initiative lifts the lid on widespread abuse and religious persecution in Kim Jong-un’s hermit kingdom. The report contains eye-witness accounts from survivors of the brutal camps who were subjected to almost unimaginable cruelty as a punishment for the beliefs. Survivors said Christians arrested for owning a Bible were fed water and sand, beaten, electrocuted and shot dead in front of fellow detainees.

Harrowing interviews revealed how children as young as three were arrested and subjected to full body searches, women were forced to undergo abortions or have newborn babies murdered.

Others were tortured or worked to death in barbaric forced labour camps in the strife-torn country where all religious worship and possession of items such as bibles, crucifixes and prayer books is forbidden.

The grim report was based on extensive interviews with 117 exiled North Koreans who shed light on their experiences of religious persecution over the last 30 years.

One man who was arrested after converting to Christianity was forced into a metal cage measuring 3ft high by 4ft wide.

He told Korea Future Initiative researchers: “There were steel bars on all four-sides that were heated with electricity.

“Usually prisoners lasted only three or four hours in the cage, but I sat there for 12 hours and prayed.

“I kept praying to God to save me.”

Women suffered terrible treatment including sexual violence and forced abortions at a camp in North Hamgyong province.

One witness described how pregnant women were be were forced into induced labour before their babies were taken away and smothered by guards using sheets of plastic and cloth sacks.

The report said methods of torture included strangulation, sleep deprivation, the use of stress positions and pouring water laced with pepper down prisoner’s nostrils.

A female former inmate told researchers: “Men were beaten like dogs. Even in the cell. They screamed like crazy because they hurt so much.

“Even though women were beaten less, I was hit in the face and my skin ruptured and I bled a lot.

“I wept a lot when they hit me again. Blood and discharge ruptured during my next pre-trial examination. They hit me again because I wept.’

Prisoners were often executed by firing squad if found guilty of owning a bible.

Others were killed for trying to smuggling pages torn from bibles into North Korea from China….