The tyrannical leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un sentenced 33 people to death for the alleged crime of having contact and working with a Baptist missionary. They were charged with attempting to overthrow the Government for trying to build 500 underground churches in North Korea. The South Korean missionary, Kim Jung-wook was arrested in October on suspicion of trying to establish several hundred underground churches. He also faces a possible death sentence. Public execution for charges of treason against the government is not uncommon. The executions will be carried out in a secret location administered by the State Security Department, reports claim.
For the 12th consecutive year, Open Doors –World Watch List claims North Korea as the place where Christian persecution is most extreme. 50,000-70,000 Christians are reported to be imprisoned in labor camps for their faith in Christ.
“The God-like worship of the leader, Kim Jong-Un, and his predecessors leaves no room for any other religion, and Christians face unimaginable pressure in every sphere of life. Forced to meet only in secret, they dare not share their faith even with their families, for fear of imprisonment in a labor camp. Anyone discovered engaging in secret religious activity may be subject to arrest, disappearance, torture, even public execution.”
Painful to imagine, most in the West can barely comprehend the depth of horrific suffering that Christians in North Korea endure.
The Christian Post reports Kim Jung Wook was charged with secret religious activities. The regime claims he gave the 33 (believed to be Christians) funds to start the underground churches in North Korea.
Last week in a press conference, the missionary was likely forced to read a false confession (another common tactic of the North Korean regime). Mail Online reports he confessed to working for South Korean intelligence and committing “anti-state” crimes, such as possession of Bibles and Christian materials for distribution into the country from China.
“I was thinking of turning North Korea into a religious country, and destroying its present government and political system,” he said.
In another report,
“After the press conference, dozens of people vanished into thin air,” the source in Sinuiju told RFA’s Korean Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The missing people are presumed to be people connected to Kim Jong-wook or family members of those connected to him, and may be sent to remote areas or to prison camps.”
At the time, North Korean authorities said only that they had captured a South Korean spy, refusing requests from Seoul to identify him. Seoul denied charges of having sent a spy.
It later emerged that Kim was an evangelist who for seven years had been providing shelter and food to North Koreans living in the Chinese border city of Dandong, across the Yalu River from Sinuiju.
Some of Kim’s fellow activists have said he crossed the river in October to establish the whereabouts of some North Korean refugees who had been arrested in Dandong by Chinese authorities and repatriated, according to various reports.
A South Korean intelligence source in China, however, has said Kim did not enter the border voluntarily, but was kidnapped by North Korean agents in Dandong, according to the Chosun Ilbo.
They also accused him of telling people to build a church where a statue of the country’s founder, Kim II Sung, stands in Pyongyang if the regime were to fall. Missionaries are often imprisoned in North Korea, including a U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae who is still being held in a labor camp. Pleas for his release from U. S. officials have been ignored. The American also made a confession and apology for alleged crimes against the government—many expect the apology was forced by the regime.
A true dictator, Kim Jong Un is known for brutal treatment of Christians. He has even had his own family members killed for disagreeing with his leadership. Kim Jong Un had his uncle Jang Song Thaek publicly executed in December on charges of planning a government overthrow. It was reported he also had Jang’s extended family killed for his treason. Children were among those killed on Mr Kim’s instructions, as were North Korea’s ambassadors to Cuba and Malaysia, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, citing multiple sources.
“All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including children.”
Pray for those being persecuted, and pray for God to soften Kim Jong-Un’s heart that he might turn to Jesus Christ and be saved. Pray for God’s protection over all Christians in North Korea and may they be fearless and bold for His glory. Even with the threat of persecution, may there be an abundance of those hearing the Gospel and coming to Christ in North Korea.
Write a letter to bring Kenneth Bae hope.
Imprisoned for over nine months. Isolated in an isolated country. Separated from family, friends, the outside world. Alone… but not forgotten by the many who support him back home. Find more information HERE
By L. Kanalos, Voice of the Persecuted