Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Thursday 22 March 2012
Lent Prayer - North Korea
Country/Region: Korea, North, South and East Asia
North Korea is extremely isolated and oppressed. The strict Communist regime oversees a country that is cut off politically from the rest of the world. The population is shockingly poor, and suffering is rife. Most people do not have enough food for each day, and many die of starvation. Religious activity is tightly controlled, and everyone is expected to adhere to the official ideology of Juche (self-reliance).
|Christian bakeries in North Korea provide Christians with a job. The bread is given away free
to schools and kindergartens
Christianity is particularly feared by the authorities. It was first introduced to Korea by missionaries in the late 18th century, and Korea was once one of the most Christianised countries in Asia. However in 1945 the north of the Korean Peninsula was occupied by the then Soviet Union, and this territory soon became the new nation of North Korea, under Stalinist rule. In 1948, President Kim Il-Sung introduced the principle of Juche, and although the constitution and other laws and policies claim to protect religious freedom, in practice religious activity is severely restricted by the government. Genuine religious freedom does not exist.
Today, it is illegal to be a Christian or take part in any Christian activity in North Korea. Christians live under constant threat of imprisonment, torture or execution if the authorities discover their Christian faith. Those who are considered to have acted against the state ideology may see their whole families placed in prison labour camps, notorious for brutal treatment and torture of inmates, sometimes to death. In May 2010, three leaders of an underground church were executed. Christians also share in the poverty, malnutrition and shortages suffered by the general population.
Yet remarkably, the Church is growing, and there are thought to be at least 400,000 Christians in North Korea.
Barnabas Aid projects include:
- Christian bakery project (Ref. 86-642)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.