The Worst:North Korea
North Korea’s hatred of Christianity has
condemned hundreds of thousands of
Christians to death over the decades and it is
estimated that they currently have 30,000 to
70,000 Christians imprisoned in the dreaded
penal camps. Christians not in the camps are
extremely wary and hiding in the shadows.
DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of
Korea – North Korea) is the world’s worst
human rights violator and the most violent
persecutor of Christians.
The Kim family’s communist government
is the source of all persecution. The Kims
have deified themselves and will allow no
other god in the land. They are often called
madmen as a result but that doesn’t really capture
them. Their creation, the North Korean
state, was designed above all else to feed and
protect themselves. They have knowingly set
themselves up as gods not because they are
mad, but because this system of idolatry furthers
their interests, control, and safety. Their
demonic creation reveals them not to be crazy,
but rather to be extreme narcissists.
Each successive Kim demands complete
loyalty to himself. Putting anything or anyone
else above the state is considered treason.
Since Christianity elevates God over
the State, North Korea sees Christianity as a
dangerous movement that must be silenced.
North Korea persecutes Christians using three
primary tools: songbun system, civil and
political police, and gulags.
Songbun is a three-tier (first – core; second
– wavering; third – hostile) societal classification
system that rewards/punishes citizens
based on their ancestral and personal loyalty
to the State. Disloyalty in either category
eliminates the opportunity to achieve the
highest songbun, core.
Those in the hostile class only make $3-$5
per month. Sadly, all Christians are classified
The State devotes massive resources on
the monitoring of its citizens through civil
and political policing. Witnesses confess that
the State “was always watching what we
were saying [and] doing.”
The final tool of the North Korean security
apparatus is the gulags, or labor camps loosely
based on Stalin’s prison system. Gulags exact
severe and effective punishments that hinder
movements considered “anti-state,” like
Christianity. While the government denies the
existence of these prisons, satellite images and
former prisoners’ testimonies affirm the camps’
continued use as well as the guards’ inhumane
treatment of prisoners.
Massive workloads, starvation, extreme isolation,
satanic torture, and the casual murder
of prisoners define North Korean gulags. One
former child prisoner described how prisoners
were forced to stone each other to death in a
camp. Another prisoner reported seeing the
execution of whole families in gas chambers.
“ ‘I witnessed a whole family being tested
on suffocating gas and dying in the gas
chamber,’ he said. ‘The parents, son and a
daughter. The parents were vomiting and
dying, but till the very last moment they
tried to save kids by doing mouth-to-mouth
breathing.’ ” (BBC: Access to Evil).
Cracks are appearing in North Korea’s
stony façade as high level defectors are
leaving like never before. Also, external
information, including the Gospel, is
flooding in which totally disrupts the narrative
of the Kim regime of DPRK being a
Kim Jong-un is desperately trying to
control the situation. There is evidence
of more arrests, expanding prisons, and
increased torture. Christians are at a
greater risk for persecution during North
Korea’s hour of desperation.
In 1907, Pyongyang experienced one of
history’s greatest revivals and was dubbed
the ‘Jerusalem of the East’ as a result. Satan
has worked to extinguish this flame and it
nearly worked. Yet, a small flame still flickers
within North Korea and may just soon
turn into a consuming fire to burn down the gates of this prison.