There Are 130,000 Underground North Korean Christians: Pastor Issac Lee

Daily NK
Kim Song A

A North Korean missionary organization revealed that about 1,000 undergrounds existed in North Korea, totaling 135,000 members nationwide.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA) on the 21st, Pastor Issac Lee of Cornerstone Ministries International, a Korean-U.S. missionary based organization said, “About 100,000 people (North Korean Christians) are being detained in prisons or are unknown, but about 35,000 North Koreans are accessible to the Cornerstone.”

Pastor Lee said, “When I visited a U.S. missionary organization in 1984, they already had a list of 3,500 names and addresses” and estimated, “There will most probably be about 1,000 underground churches in North Korea today.”

He said, “Rather than arresting spies, greater focus is placed on capturing Christians” and explained, “It is estimated that approximately 20,000 detainees are being imprisoned in North Korean gulags. Some reports have suggested that more than half these prisoners have been detained for religious reasons. Other reports claim this figure to be at least 10% or 20,000 prisoners in custody.”

Additionally, he said, “There is a large number of Christians who die in the gulags or experience greatest torture as they are the ones to express their faith.”

Regarding the Bongsu Church and Chilgol Church created by North Korean authorities, he said, “I do not doubt that these churches are mere puppets fabricated by the North Korean government…It is a controlled show by the Chosun Christian Alliance to fill the spaces in this movement.”

Since 1985, Cornerstone Ministries International began its missionary movement in North Korea and has been sending revised version bible in simple North Korean, as well as spreading pamphlets and fostering for greater awareness of the real situation of underground churches in North Korea.


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