50,000 Christians tortured and abused in North Korean prisons

According to the 2011 report of Open Doors, the Human Rights group, up to 50,000 Christians are imprisoned by the North Korean regime for their faith and are regularly tortured and suffer inhuman and cruel treatment.

‘All Koreans or foreigners who fall into the verdicts of these trials, are sent to prison camps where detainees are regularly subjected to torture and cruel and inhuman treatment. The political dissidents and their families, often held for life, suffer hunger and forced labor. Among them are the prisoners of conscience and religion and, according to “Open Doors”, there are over 50 thousand Christians. Among the detention centers known there is “Gwanliso” (work camp for prisoners of conscience), the “Gyohwaso” (work camp for prisoners of long-term), the “Jipgyulso” (simple prison), the “Rodongdanryundae “(prison labor).’

‘The regime states that the “Juche”, the official ideology of the state, is the only system of thought and belief allowed in North Korea. Despite the difficult situation, it is estimated that the Christians in Korea are currently about 400 thousand (2% of the population) who, in secret, keep in their hearts the burning flame of faith.’

Aid to the Church in Need’s 2011 report, ‘Persecuted and Forgotten’ states:

‘North Korea is described by human rights and Christian organisations as probably the most difficult place in the world to be a Christian.’

‘In November 2009 two former prisoners – Guang-il Jung, 46, and Lee Ok Suk, 53 – told politicians…about conditions experienced by 200,000 people in North Korea’s notorious. Prisoners were being subjected to torture, murder, rape medical experimentation, forced labour and forced abortion. Religious detainees receive harsher treatment’. (p.94)

Protect the Pope comment: All the while we are practicing our faith, going to Mass, teaching catechesis, praying the rosary, writing Catholic blogs, our fellow Christians in North Korea are being imprisoned, tortured, raped, experimented on for being Christian. As you read this post, this moment, it is likely that some brother or sister Christian is suffering for their faith in North Korea. What can we do to help them?

http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=28817&lan=eng

17 comments to 50,000 Christians tortured and abused in North Korean prisons

  • louella

    I guess the most we can do is pray for them – and remember them. All evil empires eventually collapse on their own evil….and we pray that this happens soon. North Koreans have suffered unimaginably recently…..may their sufferings not be in vain Lord.

    Constant media spotlight on the country’s regime and diplomatic attemps could help too.

  • Karla

    North Korea’s government exercises virtual total control over society and imposes state sanctioned atheism, and the cult of personality of Kim Jung Il and Kim Il Sung have been described as a political religion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism#North_Korea

    I pray for persecuted Christians!

  • This is so horrible. I had no idea that there were this many Christians being imprisoned in North Korea simply for their faith. I always figured that Christians were harassed and possibly even tormented, abused, and tortured in North Korea but I didn’t know how bad the situation was. This is just so sad. May God grant them hope, peace, love, and especially faith. I wonder if the Catholics in North Korea are ever able to hold secret Masses so that they can receive the Eucharist? I wonder if there are any Catholic priests imprisoned with the rest of the Christians in North Korea? I truly do hope that they have access to a priest, whether that priest is imprisoned with them or not. I do not wish for the imprisonment of any priests but these imprisoned Christians do need access to the Sacraments.

    I hope and pray that the North Korean’s communist government would eventually be abolished and that a peaceful regime would take it’s place where there is eventually freedom of all kinds there.

  • Steven Mukunta

    May the intercession of St. Francis of Assissi who tamed the vicious wolf, tame the hearts of the leaders in North Korea!

  • Tim

    I have a colleague who visited N Korea last year. Even though she was shielded from the worst of it and unable to deviate from what the authorities wanted to show her, she said it was a terrible place. She travlled in the USSR before the iron curtain fell, but she tells me that that did not come close to the appaling conditions in N Korea.

  • Mike2

    Sorry that this is irrelevant to the story about the Christians in North Korea but I thought it was interesting.

    When is mistreating a holy book a ‘hate crime’ and when is it just ‘art’?
    In July 2009, the Dail Mail reported:
    An art exhibition where people are encouraged to write in a Bible has seen visitors daub abuse and obscenities across its pages.
    Part of Made in God’s Image, the exhibit also includes a video of a woman ripping pages from the Bible and stuffing them into her bra, knickers and mouth.
    Next to the copy of the Bible at the Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) in Glasgow is a container of pens and a notice, which says: ‘If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.’
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1201568/Art-exhibition-encourages-visitors-deface-Bible.html#ixzz1JtCvPnvo

    In April 2011 a court decided that man who burned the Koran should be sentenced to 90 days in prison.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-13119241

    Obviously the former soldier made a big mistake. He should have said that what he was doing was ‘art’. Then he would have got way with it. Presumably.

    • Tim

      I agree Mike there is certainly a double standard at work here. Personally, I find the whole idea of “hate crime” to be absurd and whilst deliberately upsetting people is not polite and burning books is not civilised, it ought not to be a crime.

      I wouldn’t get too worked up about it though. One thing it does demonstrate at least is that Christians tend to have a more healthy and less insecure relationship with their holy book that do some Muslims. It would be a great shame if they started winding themselves up into the stupid rightous anger of fundamentalist Muslims.

  • Mike2

    Meanwhile, in France a crucifix is treated horrendously in the name of ‘art’. And the so-called Culture Minister criticises the people who took action against it.
    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=10015&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CatholicWorldNewsFeatureStories+%28Catholic+World+News+%28on+CatholicCulture.org%29%29

    • louella

      Let’s hope French Catholics remember this….when the elections come round next year. And the group that destroyed this profanity were called Civitas….a group that wants to ‘reChristianise France’. I hope they succeed. God Willing.

  • kla

    Huge numbers, but given the country discussed, where did these numbers come from? Are they conjecture or is there a verifiable source for this info? I am suspicious of any alleged information supposedly coming out of North Korea, much less claims that might incite a new Crusades mentality. Truly, enough people are being killed in the name of religion daily. We in the USA don’t need to be giving our government more excuses to start yet another war.

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  • Vinu Kumar

    We can pray for our christian brothers of north Korea may God deliver them from their current cultivation.

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