Christians in North Korea face rape, torture, enslavement, and being killed for their faith, a damning new report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has warned.
CSW, a UK-based religious freedom charity, said in the report, Total Denial: Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in North Korea, that freedom of religion or belief “is largely non-existent” under dictator Kim Jong-Un’s leadership.
“Religious beliefs are seen as a threat to the loyalty demanded by the Supreme Leader, so anyone holding these beliefs is severely persecuted,” the report says.
“Christians suffer significantly because of the anti-revolutionary and imperialist labels attached to them by the country’s leadership.”
Among the documented incidents against Christians are “being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled underfoot”.
Other crimes include “extra-judicial killing, extermination, enslavement/forced labour, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance, rape and sexual violence, and other inhumane acts”.
Though the regime officially says there are just 13,000 Christians in North Korea, the true figure is believed to be much higher. Cornerstone Ministries International, which works with North Korean Christians in the country as well as in China, estimates that there are between 200-300,000 in total.
Believers are forced to practise their faith in secret, and if caught, get sent to North Korea’s notorious hard labour camps. One escapee told CSW that while he was detained, he met a prisoner who was sent to the camp simply because he had spent a month in China studying the Bible. Read More