North Korea is notorious for its repressive regime against Christianity, as highlighted in the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report. The report reveals the devastating consequences for those found practicing Christianity. In one case, a Christian woman and her grandchild were executed by firing squad, and in another, a ruling party member was executed in front of thousands for possessing a Bible. Additionally, Christians in North Korea face various tormenting forms of torture such as sleep deprivation, starvation, beatings, and being forced to maintain painful positions for prolonged periods.
Children are not immune from the regime’s cruelty. North Korea recently sentenced a two-year-old toddler to life imprisonment, an alarming reminder of the horrors endured by the country’s citizens: Christians can be imprisoned, executed, and subjected to inhumane conditions.
North Korea’s constitution guarantees religious freedom. However, the regime builds churches as “showpieces” for foreigners, and they operate solely to deceive the international community. Christians living in North Korea hide their faith from their children due to fear of persecution. Children are encouraged to report their parents’ religious activities to their teachers. They are taught in schools about the “evil deeds” of Christian missionaries to discourage conversion.
The report suggests that up to 70,000 Christians are imprisoned for their faith in North Korea, out of a total population of 400,000. Practicing Christianity is considered a “serious threat to loyalty to the state.” Followers of shamanism, on the other hand, receive less severe punishments. The Kim regime prohibits religions and demands that its people worship it and its Marxist ideology.
As global citizens, it is our duty to support organizations like the US State Department, which provide necessary aid and help expose human rights violations. As a global community, we must urge North Korea’s government to respect basic human rights such as religious freedom, and create an environment where all citizens can live without fear of persecution.