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North Korea 'executes Christians' July 26, 2009 4:45 PM

North Korea 'executes Christians'
By Andre Vornic
BBC News

A cross and candle (file image)
North Korea views religion as a threat to its state ideology

Human rights groups in South Korea say North Korea has stepped up executions of Christians, some of them in public.

The communist country, the world's most closed society, views religion as a major threat.

Only the founder of the country, Kim Il-sung, and his son, Kim Jong-il, may be worshipped, in mass public displays of fervour.

Despite the persecutions, it is thought up to 30,000 North Koreans may practise Christianity secretly in their homes.

A report by a number of South Korean groups highlights one particular case of a woman allegedly executed in public last month, in a northern town close to the Chinese border.

She was accused of distributing Bibles, spying for South Korea and the United States and helping to organise dissidents.

Her parents, husband, and children were sent to a prison camp.

Such reports are hard to verify, but North Korea is known to be intolerant of religion - it views any form of alternative social organisation as a competitor for its own, religion-like ideology.

The US government says just owning a Bible in North Korea may be a cause for torture and disappearance.

Pyongyang's position appears to have hardened on everything from human rights to defence policy and international relations in the last year or so.

It is thought this may be a way to shore up the government through Mr Kim's illness and the process of anointing his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, as North Korea's next leader.


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 April 29, 2010 7:38 PM

  As a member of the North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC), Open Doors USA has actively participated in North Korea Freedom Week (NKFW) events including organizing lobbying activities for this important week.  This year is unique in that NKFW will be held in Seoul instead of in Washington, DC during the last week of April. The purpose of the week is to promote the freedom, human rights, and dignity of the North Korean people. Open Doors USA is asking our supporters to participate in the “Letters from America” program in which they can submit brief messages to be translated and  broadcast into North Korea by Free North Korea Radio, the premier independent radio station broadcasting into North Korea. OD USA is also helping to coordinate prayer events across the country for North Korea and has launched a social media campaign to create awareness of the lack of religious freedom within the country. View opportunities for participation>>  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 June 21, 2012 10:41 AM

“Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound”
Sung individually, the sound is barely audible; sung by thousands of voices, the sound is rich and harmonious. Collectively, the prayers of North Korean Christians, worshipping in secret, are rising to a crescendo in calling for a revival in their nation.
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 August 28, 2012 8:18 AM

Kim Tae Jin North Korea

Kim Tae Jin finds it difficult to talk. The contrast between his life in North Korea and his life now in Seoul are too great. “The most difficult thing for me is making decisions,” Kim says quietly. ”Freedom of choice is unknown in North Korea. As I got older my doubts grew about the propaganda the government fed us.”

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