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North Korea

Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.

 

 

UN Security Council Called to Take Action on North Korea

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

For the first time, the United Nations Security Council has been called upon by the UN Human Rights Council to take action on the human rights atrocities being committed in North Korea. The request to the Security Council comes after a year long investigation by the United Nations collected extensive testimony and evidence of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the ruling Kim family. Among these numerous crimes is the complete restriction of religious freedom and the violent persecution of Christians, thousands of whom are believed to currently be imprisoned in political "death" camps. 

New Film Portrays Suffering of Underground Church in North Korea

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Relatively few people in the world today are aware that North Korea is perhaps the most hostile nation on earth to people of faith. It's believed that as many as 450,000 Christians risk imprisonment, torture, and execution to practice their faith in a nation known before the rise of Communism as a major center for Christian activity in East Asia. A new South Korean film set for release this month is set to accurately depict, albeit through a fictional plot, the almost impossible to imagine difficulties faced by followers of Jesus in the North.  

What’s Missing in U.S. Policy Towards North Korea?

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Since 2006, U.S. policy towards the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK) has been focused almost entirely on attempting to deter the Kim family regime from developing nuclear weapons. While this is understandably a very serious concern, the exclusive focus of U.S. attention on this issue has drawn attention away from decades of human rights violations described last month by a United Nations commission as comparable to atrocities committed under the Nazi regime.

US Still Determined to See American Missionary Released from North Korea

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

For more than 15 months North Korea has held Kenneth Bae, an American citizen and missionary, behind bars. Last May he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly attempting to "overthrow" the North Korean government. Christians are completely repressed in North Korea, with an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 currently imprisoned in political prison camps around the country. A recent U.N. report documenting these camps gathered evidence of torture, starvation, and execution on a scale eerily similar to the Nazi regime.  

Australian Missionary Freed from North Korea Describes ‘grueling’ Ordeal

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

John Short, the 75-year-old Australian missionary detained in North Korea for nearly two weeks last month, has released a brief statement describing his captivity at the hands of the North Korean authorities. In his statement, John says he was subjected to four hour long interrogations every day for 13 days. The missionary was also confined to his room and kept under 24-hour guard. Short was also told that he faced up to 15 years in prison for his "crime" of handing out Christian literature in public. Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in May of last year after being detained in 2012. 

North Korea: Dozens Face Execution for Meeting with Missionary

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

South Korean news agencies are reporting that as many as thirty-three North Koreans may soon be executed for coming into contact with Kim Jung-wook, a Baptist missionary from South Korea who was arrested in the North back in October. Kim Jung-wook last week "confessed" to North Korean media sources that he was a spy working for the South. The South Korean intelligence community has flatly denied this, saying that Kim's work was purely religious in nature. Christianity is completely repressed in North Korea, with as many as 50,000 North Koreans serving time in political prison camps were torture, execution, and starvation occur on a daily basis. 

North Korea Releases Australian Missionary Detained on Kim Jong-il’s Birthday

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

“We were incredibly relieved to hear about the release of John Short this morning from North Korea. Everyone at ICC has spent the last two weeks eagerly awaiting news while doing everything possible to support John and his wife, Karen, during this time. We believe no one should have to face detention, arrest, or imprisonment simply for sharing their religious beliefs. While we are overjoyed with John’s release, we cannot forget that at least two other foreign missionaries, American Kenneth Bae and South Korean Kim Jeong-wook, remain imprisoned in the North. We can also not forget the millions of North Koreans who, for more than half a century, have faced unimaginable persecution because of their religious beliefs and continue to do so today.”  

North Korea Releases Detained Australian Missionary

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

In a sudden turn of events, North Korea has deported 75-year-old Australian missionary John Short after detaining him almost two weeks ago in Pyongyang for distributing Gospel literature. North Korea is one of the most hostile nations on earth towards Christianity with as many as 50,000 Christians believed to be imprisoned in camps around the country. ICC volunteers have been praying extensively for John's release since he was detained. At least two other foreign missionaries, American Kenneth Bae and South Korean Kim Jung Wook, remain imprisoned in North Korea. 

South Korean Missionary Detained by North Korea Makes Forced Confession

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

In a televised broadcast, North Korean media held a news conference with Baptist evangelist Kim Jeong-wook, who was detained in the country back in October. During the broadcast, Kim "confesses" to being a South Korean spy and committing anti-government activities. South Korea has adamantly denied that Kim worked for their intelligence services and has called for his release based on the fact that he was only conducting religious activities. A friend of Kim's has also said the notion he was working as a spy is "ridiculous." North Korea has detained several Christian missionaries over the past 18 months, including American Kenneth Bae and Australian John Short.

Concerns for Detained Australian Missionary in North Korea Grow

Friday, February 28th, 2014

On February 16, North Korean authorities detained Christian missionary John Short, 75, in Pyongyang while he was on a legal tour inside the country. He has not been heard from since. For more than 50 years, the North Korean government under the Kim family has completely outlawed Christianity. Tens of thousands of Christians are believed to be held in prison camps around the country, and last November several Christians were believed to be publicly executed for owning Bibles. John and his wife Karen have been missionaries to China since 1969.

North Korea on Arrested Missionary: ‘We have made no decision as to what we will do with him’

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Australian missionary John Short, 75, was arrested by North Korean authorities on Sunday in the nation’s capital, Pyongyang. John, a career missionary based in Hong Kong, was traveling to the reclusive nation with a tour group and was carrying Christian literature translated into Korean.

North Korea Declared Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

Monday, February 17th, 2014

In a long awaited high profile report, a United Nations Commission of Inquiry has condemned North Korea and its leaders for crimes against humanity, calling on the international community to take swift and decisive action. Michael Kirby, the head of the commission, pointed out that the world has no excuse not to act, knowing full well the extent and depth of the atrocities being committed in North Korea. The report also pointed out that "severe punishments" are carried out against those who practice Christianity. North Korea is widely considered to be the worlds worst persecutor of Christians in the world today, with as many as 50,000 Christians currently locked up in prison camps. 

Kenneth Bae: ‘I have not lost hope’

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, has been held by the world's most despotic regime for over a year after being arrested for allegedly trying to "overthrow" the government. Kenneth is a devout Christian and was leading tour groups into North Korea before being arrested and sentenced last May to 15 years of hard labor. Pro-North Korean media recently revealed that he had been moved out of a hospital where he was being treated for various ailments back to a secret labor camp in an unknown location. North Korea is considered to be the world's worst persecutor of Christians, with as many as 70,000 Christians currently believed to be held in concentration like camps where they face starvation and execution on a daily basis. 

Kenneth Bae Moved Back to North Korean Labor Camp Despite Health Issues

Monday, February 10th, 2014

On Friday, a North Korean news source published video of a meeting between imprisoned missionary Kenneth Bae and a Swedish diplomat, revealing that Kenneth has been moved back to a labor camp somewhere in North Korea on January 20th after being kept in a hospital for several months. Kenneth, who was detained by North Korean authorities in November of 2012, was sentenced by the regime to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the government. North Korea, led by Kim Jong-un, is violently hostile towards Christianity and has sentenced tens of thousands of Christians to life imprisonment for practicing their faith. Other have been executed for simply owning a Bible. 

Congressional Korean War Veterans Call for Kenneth Bae’s Release

Friday, February 7th, 2014

 Four congressman, all veterans of the Korean war, wrote an open letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un asking for the release of imprisoned Christian missionary and American citizen Kenneth Bae. Kenneth, a devout Christian, was detained by authorities in North Korea more than a year ago and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly attempting to "overthrow the state." Christianity is completely outlawed in what is widely considered the world's most dangerous place to be a Christian. Something as simple as owning a Bible can result in the arrest or execution of the owner and the life imprisonment of their family.  

U.S. Calls on North Korea to Release Imprisoned Missionary

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Kenneth Bae, an American citizen and missionary, has been imprisoned by North Korean authorities for over a year in what many see as an attempt by the dictatorship to use him as a bargaining chip with the United States. Kenneth, a devout Christian, was operating a legal tour group inside North Korea when he was arrested. North Korea completely outlaws the practice of Christianity and has publicly executed citizens for owning Bibles. In addition, tens of thousands of Christians are believed to be imprisoned in North Korean labor camps where starvation and execution are a daily part of life.

Christians Persecution May Grow Worse in North Korea in 2014

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

While North Korea is already considered the most dangerous place on earth to be a Christian, one organization is predicting that new government regulations are going to make life even more difficult for the thousands of underground believers in the nation. These new guidelines include restrictions on "superstitious behaviour", which in North Korea can be something as simple as bowing your head to pray. Thousands of Christians are believed to be held in concentration camps where starvation and death from disease or forced labor are constant threats. In November the regime, led by Kim Jong-Un, is believed to have publicly executed Christians for Bible ownership.

Christian Message Continues to Penetrate North Korea, Despite Persecution

Friday, January 24th, 2014

North Korea is undoubtedly the most difficult place for a Christian to live in the world today. An estimated 400,000 Christians live in North Korea, practicing their faith in almost total secrecy. A "crime" as simple as owning a Bible can be punished by life imprisonment or public execution. Nevertheless reports emerge that underground Christians are continuing to share their faith and minister throughout the "Hermit Kingdom", despite risk of death. 

U.S. Offers to Send Envoy to North Korea to Secure Release of Imprisoned Missionary

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Kenneth Bae, an American citizen and missionary, has been detained in North Korea for more than a year by a regime that is consistently recognized as the world's worst persecutor of Christians. Kenneth has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly attempting to undermine the North Korea regime. The charge however is more likely an attempt by North Korea to gain concessions from the United States. Christians in China must keep their faith completely secret, as even something as simple as owning a Bible can result in life imprisonment or execution. 

North Korea Releases Video of Imprisoned Missionary

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Kenneth Bae, who has been detained in North Korea for more than a year, said he hopes to "return to his family as soon as possible." The video, which was almost certainly made under duress, shows Kenneth wearing prison cloths and admitting to committing crimes against the regime. North Korea is the world's worst persecutor of Christians and has imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Christians over the past 60 years. 

North Korean Christians Share Christ, at Risk of Death, in Concentration Camps

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The following article by Dr. David Curry of Open Doors examines why North Korea has remained at the top of their watch list for 12 consecutive years. It also relays the testimony of Hea Woo, a North Korean Christian who bravely shared her faith in Christ with fellow inmates of one of North Korea's notorious concentration camps. Open Doors estimates that between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians remain imprisoned in North Korea's political prison camp system. 

North Korea Still World’s Number One Persecutor of Christians

Friday, January 10th, 2014

With 50,000 to 70,000 Christians believed to be locked away in horrific conditions at concentration camps around the country, North Korea remains indisputably the number one persecutor of Christians on earth today. Over the course of 2013 reports emerged of Christian missionaries killed traveling in and out of North Korea, of Christians executed in mass public executions, and of course of Kenneth Bae, the American missionary now detained for over a year. Around the world Christians must continue to pray for their brothers and sisters suffering so tremendously in the "Hermit Kingdom." 

Family of Imprisoned North Korea Missionary Shocked by ex-NBA Star Comments

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

The family of imprisoned Christian missionary Kenneth Bae have expressed their deep hurt at comments made by ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman to CNN in an interview yesterday. The former professional basketball player grew highly agitated when asked about the imprisoned missionary, eventually cursing at the CNN interviewer and implying that Kenneth somehow deserved to be imprisoned in North Korea. The missionary has been detained for over a year and was probably arrested due to his Christian work inside the country. North Korea is the world's most repressive regime when it comes to Christianity and has imprisoned as many as 70,000 Christians in concentration camps. 

Reported Christian ‘Martyr’ Deaths Double in 2013

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

A newly released study documents that more than 2,100 Christians were killed as “martyr’s” in 2013. The greatest increase was seen in Syria. With a reported 1,213 deaths, Syria alone eclipsed the global total of 1,201 from 2012. The report is intentionally narrow in its definition of “martyr” and tries to distinguish between Christians killed in the midst of broader conflict and those killed explicitly for their faith. Nine of the ten worst persecuting countries are Muslim-majority states. As a whole, the report finds that “Islamist extremism is the worst persecutor of the worldwide church.”

China: Daughter of Imprisoned Pastor Goes Missing as Crackdown Continues

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Zhang Shanshan, the younger daughter of Pastor Zhang Shaojie, disappeared along with two other Christians after leaving their homes on Saturday and have not been seen since. Authorities in Nanle County, Henan Province, detained nearly two dozen Christians a month ago in a raid on an official government sanctioned "Three-Self" church. The pastor and several of the church leaders remain imprisoned despite protests by church members and attempts by human rights lawyers to assist in the case. Zhang Shanshan's family believer she may have been abducted by the authorities.

Deeper Darkness Settles Over North Korea

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

It began with a media frenzy. Six months into Kim Jong-un’s new reign over North Korea, the internet was filled with images and video of the smiling new leader waving to his beloved people. ABC news reported the “youthful supreme leader” was “attempting to forge a new image for himself and his country” by allowing women to wear pants and endorsing banned foods like French fries and pizza. A few months before, on Jan. 1, the newly minted leader of the world’s most militant regime had publicly called for an end to the almost fifty year old confrontation between the two Koreas.

American Missionary Kenneth Bae Remains Imprisoned in North Korea

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The recent drama over the detention of U.S. Korean War veteran Merrill Newman in North Korea and his subsequent release placed world attention on the dictatorial regime, however this was not enough to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, also an American citizen and imprisoned in the country since May. Kenneth is a "devout Christian" and was involved in missionary work when he was arrested by North Korean authorities. North Korea actively represses Christianity by routinely imprisoning entire families of believers and even executing those found to posses a Bible. 

North Korea Satellite Images Expose Vast Prison Camps

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

New images obtained by human rights group Amnesty International show that North Korea's vast system of concentration camp style imprisonment is alive and well. As many as 200,000 political prisoners are believed to be held in the six camps, where they are forced into extremely difficult manual labor on starvation rations. Survivors report unimaginable horror stories from within the camps, were North Korean's can be sentenced to a life time of labor for something as simple as owning a Bible. In fact three generations of a single family can be sentenced to life for Bible ownership, or for practicing Christianity. An unknown number, probably in the tens of thousands, of the prison camp populations, are made up of Christians. 

Human Rights Day: Action Badly Needed to Stop North Korean Crimes Against Humanity

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

As the world marks the 20th annual Human Rights day on Dec. 10, a Christian organization has renewed it's call once again for investigation into and action to halt the "crimes against humanity" being perpetrated against the North Korean people. Among the many crimes committed in North Korea is the relentless persecution of Christians, who are seen by the ruling regime as a threat to power. Tens of thousands of Christians are believed to be imprisoned in what can only be described as the closest thing to hell on earth, labor camps were starvation and disease run rampant and death is a constant companion. Christians have also been executed for the "crime" of possessing a Bible, most recently in November. 

Persecution of Christians Reaches Unprecedented Global Proportions

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Few Christians, especially in the United States, have even a basic understanding of the extent to which Christians around the globe face discrimination, harassment, arrest, and death because of their faith in Christ. The following article, which first examines conditions for Christians living in North Korea, reveals fascinating and alarming statistics about the global breadth of anti-Christian activity. For instance, according to the Pew Forum, Christians faced harassment in 139 nations, or almost three quarters of all countries on earth, between 2006 and 2010. Another estimate is that 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. 

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ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.