North Korea’s Draconian Persecution

Kim Jong-un

“A new report by a human rights watchdog details horrific violations of religious freedom within North Korea, including citizens brutally tortured for converting to Christianity and individuals publicly executed for owning a Bible. The 98-page report by the London-based Korea Future Initiative was released this month and based on 117 interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators of the abuses. All total, 273 victims of religious freedom violations were identified, including 215 involving Christians and 56 from followers of shamanism. The age of the victims ranged from 3 to 80-plus. Christianity is illegal in North Korea. Citizens are told to treat the supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, as a god. Among the religious freedom violations detailed in the report: A government official was shot and killed at an airfield, in front of a crowd, for possession of a Bible. Public executions ‘were designed to instill fear into crowds who had been summoned’ and forced to attend. A Christian was tied to a wooden stake at a public market and executed by a firing squad for possession of a Bible. Other individuals in the report were arrested for owning a Bible. Christians were tortured by having a liquid with red pepper powder poured down their nostrils. The report listed other forms of torture for Christians and adherents of other religions: ‘being forced to hang on steel bars while being beaten with an oseungogakja; being hung by their legs; having their body tightly bound with sticks; being forced to perform squat-jumps and to sit and stand hundreds or thousands of times each day; being forced to kneel with a wooden bar inserted between their knee hollows; strangulation; being forced to witness the execution or torture of other prisoners; starvation; being forced to ingest polluted food; being forced into solitary confinement; being deprived of sleep, and being forced to remain seated and still for up to and beyond 12-hours a day.’”

“North Korea jails, executes anyone who owns a Bible,” Christian Headlines, Oct. 30, 2020