North Korea named No. 1 persecutor of Christians

Open Doors International, a Christian group based in California, released their list of the national top ten violators of religious freedom.  As with most other indexes, North Korea does not come out looking too good:

For the fifth year in a row, North Korea heads the World Watch List as the worst violator of religious rights for Christians. Media attention was focused on the country in 2006 but nothing has changed for the North Korean people. The North Korean regime launched missiles and tested nuclear weapons in 2006, which meant a further increase of pressure in the country. We were able to trace more information, which indicated that more Christians were arrested in 2006 than in 2005. There are still many people in labor camps, and everyday life in North Korea is inhuman. Between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are currently suffering in prison camps. Many of them are tortured. People are still putting their lives at stake by trying to flee to China. After crossing the border, several people have converted after coming into contact with Christians. The newborn Christians are very brave and return to North Korea to tell others about Jesus. Considering Christianity to be a tremendous threat to stability in the country, the North Korean government hunts Christians all over the country, especially those who try to return from China. Many of them were arrested, tortured and even killed. But amidst all the harshness in the country, the local Christians are dedicated to serving the local Body of Christ and are firmly standing strong during this period of relentless persecution.

Rounding out the other nine slots: 2. Saudi Arabia, 3. Iran, 4. Somalia, 5. Maldives, 6. Yemen, 7. Bhutan, 8. vietnam, 9. Laos, 10. Afghanistan.

More on Religion in North Korea can be found here.


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