Report Says North Korea Is Killing Christians And Imprisoning People For Simply Possessing A Bible

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Report Says North Korea Is Killing Christians And Imprisoning People For Simply Possessing A Bible

A new report, "Persecuting Faith: Documenting religious freedom violations in North Korea", has stated it has evidence from exiled North Koreans that thousands of people have been tortured, imprisoned and killed in North Korea on the basis of their religious faith. Other atrocities include forced abortions and the sending of people to 're-education camps'.

The Korea Future Initiative which launched the report, said it has documented 273 victims of religious persecution, aged from 3 to 80 years old. These victims included more than 200 Christians who have been convicted on charges such as having contact with a religious person, owning a religious item such as a bible or cross, going to church, and voicing their religious beliefs in public. Many of these 'crimes' are believed to have been committed by North Koreans who were in China for various reasons but later returned to their own nation. China operates a more tolerant system than North Korea when it comes to religious belief.

A female prisoner is reported in the document as saying:

"Men were beaten like dogs. Even in the cell. They screamed like crazy because they hurt so much. Even though women were beaten less, I was hit in the face and my skin ruptured and I bled a lot. [Officers] told me to wipe the blood, so I cleaned it. I wept a lot when they hit me again. Blood and discharge ruptured during my next pre-trial examination. They hit me again because I wept."

Il-lyong Ju, a North Korean human rights campaigner, who helped author the report, said:

"The cruel actions of the privileged few in North Korea who take our lives and control our thoughts must be prevented. North Korean officials, whose crimes evoke thoughts of Auschwitz, must be identified and held accountable. And we must not forget the testimonies of the survivors in this report who have overpowered death in North Korea. This is the least that we, the free North Koreans, and you, the reader who has been granted freedom at birth, can do as our collective act of humanity. We have freedom. The North Korean people do not."

North Korea is the most repressive nation in the world, and little is known about the inner workings of the country. It is highly secretive and is often in the world's media as a result of its nuclear weapons program, which has resulted in it becoming a nuclear armed state.

While no one doubts the human rights abuses that occur within North Korea, the evidence given in the report is very hard to verify given that very few people leave the country and, those that do, often have political agendas or have already fallen foul of the regime.

The Korean Future Initiative said it hopes the report:

"Provides an accurate accounting of patterns of documented religious freedom violations perpetrated against North Korean citizens and to inform decision-making in the international community."

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Thinking Humanity: Report Says North Korea Is Killing Christians And Imprisoning People For Simply Possessing A Bible
Report Says North Korea Is Killing Christians And Imprisoning People For Simply Possessing A Bible
A new report, "Persecuting Faith: Documenting religious freedom violations in North Korea", has stated it has evidence from exiled North Koreans that
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