It’s no secret that North Korea is a horrific place for Christians, with the reclusive government in Pyongyang routinely persecuting and murdering Bible-believers.
But despite the intense restrictions and risks, Fox News recently reported that an estimated 9 million North Koreans — 36 percent of the population — still practice Christianity.
And that’s pretty telling, considering that Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, a group that monitors persecution, told the outlet that Christians caught practicing their faith “are arrested, horrendously tortured, imprisoned and [sometimes] immediately put to death.”
Being a Christian in North Korea is certainly dangerous, with the regime going to great lengths to encourage — and even trick — people into telling on their fellow citizens if and when they learn that someone is practicing the Christian faith.
One particularly disturbing story from Vernon Brewer, president of World Help, a humanitarian group, shows how the government tricks children into telling on their own parents.
Brewer shared the story of a little girl named Eun who was told by her third-grade teacher that she had a special assignment: to go home and find a book and if it was the proper book, she was told she would be rewarded.
In the end, Eun discovered a Bible and told her teacher, Fox News reported.
“The next day she received a prize at her school. But when Eun returned home, her parents weren’t there,” Brewer said. “It’s hard to imagine such cruelty that would unknowingly turn children on their own parents.”
Fox News has more about the conditions for Christians on the ground in North Korea:
On the surface, Christianity does exist in North Korea. Its constitution on paper vows to protect religious freedom and forbids discrimination based on one’s faith. Thus, the capital, Pyongyang, is currently host to five state-controlled churches – the Protestant Bongsu, Chilgol and Jeil Churches, the Catholic Jangchung Cathedral and the most recent being the Orthodox Holy Trinity Russian Church. Yet all are deemed to be little more than fraudulent showpieces for visiting officials and tourists. […]