More horrific details about the persecution of Christians in North Korea are being revealed.
A new report released last week by the British-based human rights advocacy organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide includes stories of torture, mutilation, and murder.
CSW reports that although North Korea is a member of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, freedom of religion is one right that is “largely nonexistent” in the country.
The report states…..”Denial of this right has occurred since the 1950s, and the current leader, Kim Jong-un, continues to violate citizens’ religious freedom.
“Religious beliefs are seen as a threat to the loyalty demanded by the supreme leader, so anyone holding these beliefs is severely persecuted. Christians suffer significantly because of the anti-revolutionary and imperialist labels attached to them by the country’s leadership.”
Although the South Korea-based Database Center for North Korean Human Rights finds that there are at least 123 religious institutions in North Korea, most of them are Buddhist or Cheondoist temples. Even though there are three Protestant churches, one Catholic cathedral and a Russian Orthodox church in the capital of Pyongyang, those state-sponsored churches are only there for propaganda purposes.
According to CSW the Catholic church doesn’t even have a priest.
Although the spreading of the Gospel is forbidden in North Korea, as is it considered a crime against the state, many North Koreans are exposed to Christianity through family ties, missionaries or external religious organizations and charities.