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ICC Note: Here is a peek into the life of a Christian in North Korea

Missionary Reports Severe Christian Persecution in North Korea
11/29/06 North Korea (Agape Press) Recently, a veteran of more than 100 missions into North Korea reported that Christians in North Korea live under constant danger of harassment, arrest, and torture. The missionary, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the ministry that Christians under that oppressive regime must take many precautions in order to assemble for Bible study or worship, such as gathering in groups of only three or four at a time and covering all the windows.

The risks for those missionary and other believers in North Korea are high, VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton notes. “If you’re going to have a Christian meeting in North Korea ,” he says, “you have to understand that you’re taking your life in your hands. To be discovered to be a Christian can get you locked up. It can get you executed. So you’re very cautious who you share that information with.”

Because of the tremendous danger for Christians, that caution must even extend to family members within the same household, Nettleton points out. When North Korean Christians gather, he explains, other individuals, “especially young children, are sent out of the room, because it’s simply too great a risk to have your children know you’re a follower of Jesus Christ.”

What would happen, after all, if these youngsters innocently said something at school that gave the secret away, Nettleton asks. “Your whole family could be arrested,” he says, “and sent to one of the political prisoner camps where the average sentence for following Jesus is 15 years, but the average life expectancy in those camps is only five years.”

The missionary has herself spent time in a North Korean prison for sharing her faith. The woman, who cannot be identified for security reasons, noted that four of her friends have been executed because of their witness.

But despite the intense persecution of believers in North Korea, the missionary says people in that Communist nation are growing increasingly open to the gospel of Christ. And although tens of thousands of Christians are imprisoned for their faith in that country, Nettleton notes, faithful believers continue to persevere, gathering in secret as necessary, to share the truth of the scriptures.

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