The brutal North Korean regime is up to its usual barbarism, and it doesn't look like it will be stopping anytime soon.
...A recent report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) details how the Workers Party of Korea led by Kim Jong Un targets and tortures Christians and other people of faith while going to great lengths to conceal its crimes.
The report spells out the acts of terror committed by the regime "designed to remove all traces of Christianity" and reveals "the campaign to exterminate all Christian adherents and institutions…has been brutally effective."
This report, which is based off of extensive in-person interviews from 2020-2021 with those who fled the country, goes into extensive details on religious liberty and persecution within the hermit kingdom.
First, the report acknowledges that North Korea does, in fact, have a state-imposed religious system:
"...These freedoms are in fact subordinate to and overruled by a document known as the Ten Principles for Establishing a Monolithic Leadership System. This document has as its purpose to bring each North Korean individual's thoughts and acts in line with the teachings of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un.
If you're wondering what it looks like for bureaucracy to create a religion where it is your god, look no further.
The report then details how the state says it allows religious freedom by creating various Christian and Buddhist entities that it can control:
The Workers' Party of Korea maintains, for example, church buildings in Pyongyang. It instructs a small group of approved specialized cadres to perform Christian ceremonies in these buildings, while at the same time forbidding North Korean citizens—including that group of specialized cadres—to live as Christians.
There's a fine line between this and the edicts of leaders in the West who want churches to adhere to their "public health" and LGBT ideologies in order to meet and teach.
The report details how citizens are required to attend lectures where they are warned about "superstition" and taught the glories of Kim "Rocketman" Jong Un.
Anyone who violates these edicts and is found worshipping a god other than Lil' Kimmy is forced into labor camps.
Specifically, [the law] dictates that any "person who repeatedly engages in superstitious activities in exchange for money or goods shall be punished by short-term labor for less than one year. In cases where the foregoing act is a grave offense, he or she shall be punished by reform through labor for less than three years."
If you're wondering, no one surveyed said the prison camps are nice.
According to individuals whose detention by the Ministry of People's Security or the Ministry of State Security was documented, they experienced violations of international human rights law even before being tried and sentenced. Respondents with pre-trial detention experience described similar patterns across facilities and geographies: namely cases of arbitrary arrest and detention; torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; an absence of due process, such as the right to a fair trial; and inhumane conditions, including inadequate amounts of food.
These prison sentences can literally extend to someone's grandkids as well.
...typical sentences ranging from 15 years in a prison camp for an individual found guilty to life sentences in a prison camp for up to three generations of the immediate family of an individual found guilty.
The woke reparations crowd and Lil' Kimmy seem to have some Marxist overlap here.
Every aspect of people's religious freedom is violated, but the government goes further to let its citizens know that Kimmy and Gang are actually the good guys.
At its most essential level, North Koreans experience the denial of the right to religious freedom from birth. In an interview, Hong Na Yong explained that in childhood, "[School] lessons feature missionaries, and there are also movies about the missionaries. There is actually a movie titled The Missionary. The movie features an American missionary who came to Korea during the Japanese colonial occupation period and swindled children after pretending to care about them. After people watched the movie, they developed a negative impression of the missionaries on an intuitive level. People even use the word ‘missionary' as a curse word."
In contrast to the beneficent government that will force you, your son, and your grandson into a multi-generational prison term for anything it calls a crime, Christian missionaries who want to preach obedience to a higher power, "love your neighbor," and hope for eternity are portrayed as blood-sucking demons:
Christianity is, in most documented cases, directly associated with the United States. Shin Nam Ki told investigators, "I used to think that almost all missionaries were Americans when I was little. As I grew up, however, I started to know better. Aside from the curriculum contents, this perspective was encouraged through graphic novels rather than movies. There were graphic novels featuring contents such as Christian missionaries coaxing children into a church and drawing their blood in the basements. These comic books were published by the government."
Ain't Marxism great?
Much ire is directed against traditional shamanism, but Christians are especially despised, facing executions regularly.
Moreover, we documented credible accounts of the execution of Christian adherents who had practiced within the territory of North Korea, rather than in or through China. It is noteworthy that details from these incidents come from former security officials, reflecting the level of secrecy with which the state deals with incidents of Christianity that arise domestically.
Translation: We are only hearing a tiny fraction of the executions that actually occur.
Among these cases, Kwon Eun Som and her grandchild were executed in July 2011 in Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province, with only a few security and law enforcement officials present to witness the event. The execution was by firing squad and took place outside Hajong-ri in Onsong County...
In another instance, six people convicted of practicing Christianity were executed in secret by firing squad in 2015, in Yeonan County in South Hwanghae Province, with up to 40 others sentenced to a political prison camp for life.
This was a depiction of the first execution mentioned:
FaithWire notes that continued sanctions and international outcry against North Korea are effective in deterring this behavior because Kim Jong Un cares what the outside world thinks about him.
"There is a reason they go to incredible lengths to conceal political prison camps," noted James Burt, chief strategy officer of the Korea Future Initiative. "There is a reason they have built show churches, show temples, and have actors pretend to be congregations when foreign visitors visit Pyongyang. There's a reason they respond so aggressively to human rights council resolutions that condemn their human rights record more broadly and there's a reason they push back so hard against human rights sanctions."
I don't know what political machination will cause the inevitable collapse of Kimmy's nightmare kingdom.
I do know that those North Koreans who believe in Jesus need our prayers and our undistracted support!