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North Korea

North Korea is located on the northern region of the Korean Peninsula between China and South Korea. Historically, the major religions in North Korea have been Buddhism and Confucianism, and there are now some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo faith groups. North Korea is officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Japan ruled North Korea for 35 years, beginning in 1910. In 1945, Korea was divided into North and South. Communism became the governing ideology in 1948 when a socialist regime acquired power. Since then, the border between North and South Korea has become the most fortified border in the world. A vast number of the population has been starving to death since 1994 due natural disasters and the agricultural situation there. The current leader, Kim Jong Il, succeeded his father, Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994. According to reports, North Korea holds more political and and religious prisoners than any other country, and it is said that “there is no more serious crime in North Korea than being a Christian.”

Religious Freedom

The Constitution of North Korea guarantees religious freedom. However, the freedom of religion was restricted to religious groups recognized and controlled by the government, and was later amended to become the freedom of antireligious activity. Using religion to involve foreign governments or officials in the affairs of the country is forbidden. Juche, a religion based on the worship of Kim Jong-Il, is used as the justification for the continuous rule of the government. Denial or disbelief in the supreme authority of Kim Jong-Il is considered a threat to the nation’s interest and is punished with torture and death. Religious prisoners are subject to abuse and cruelty in prison camps.

Religious gatherings are theoretically permitted, and faith based groups technically have the right to build places of worship. Programs for religious studies are available at the Kim Il Sung University. Religious entities are generally used for propagating government messages and are meant for tourism and foreigners.

Members of religious groups that are not controlled by the government are seen and publicized as less than human. Those who are arrested, for speaking about God or reading the Bible, are subject to chemical and biological experiments or other forms of torture.

International Treaties Signed by North Korea

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Canada-North Korea Diplomatic Relations

(Ambassador to China is responsible for North Korea)

Prayer

For prayer requests, see the alerts, or the general page of prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Related Links

General information about North Korea
Information about human rights in North Korea
Information about the persecuted Church in North Korea  (from the Voice of the Martyrs Canada)

Related EFC Religious Liberty Commission Prayer Alerts

Note: Alerts are in reverse chronological order, beginning with most recent.

 

Eighty Executions, Seven Cities, One Day

::11/28/13

Earlier this month, a South Korean news source reported a one-day, seven-city slaughter of 80 people in North Korea. This was the most brutal attack by dictator Kim Jong-un, since taking leadership of the country following his father’s death in December 2011. Read
more

Praying for North Korea – Opportunity for Change? Or Intensified Persecution?

::12/22/11

With the December 17, 2011 death of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il, it is uncertain what succession will mean to Christians in the communist dictatorial country.  The cruelty toward Christians during Kim Jong-il’s reign, has established him among the most ruthless persecutors of Christians in recent history. Little is known about 27 ... read more.

Day of Prayer for North Korea Sunday, June 29

::6/20/03

In North Korea today, being a Christian is considered treason and worship of leader Kim Jong Il is the law. Next week, join Christians around the world as they pray for the Church in North Korea.

Christians imprisoned as North Koreans are told they are only allowed to worship Kim Jung-II.

::12/21/01

(Source: World Evangelical Fellowship)

Christianity is not welcomed in North Korea. Earlier this year, Kim Jung-Il, the supreme national leader, commanded absolute worship of himself. Rallies were held throughout the nation to reinforce this command. It is estimated that 100,000 Christians are imprisoned for their faith in North Korea's gulags. Pray for the light of Jesus in the North Korean gulags this Christmas.

Pray:

• Pray for the Christians in North Korea who are celebrating this Christmas in secret.

Countries

Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Belarus
Bhutan
Burma / Myanmar
China
Egypt
Eritrea
Georgia
Greece
India
Indonesia
Iran
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Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
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Libya
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Nigeria
North Korea
Pakistan
Philippines
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Tajikistan
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Yemen

   
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