North Korea on Top Persecutor list – again
North Korea tops Open Doors World Watch List as worst persecutor of Christians
1/6/2010 North Korea (MNN) ― Two of the most notorious and restrictive regimes in the world top the Open Doors 2010 World Watch List (WWL) of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians.
In the No. 1 spot for the eighth straight time is North Korea, the country where every religious activity is recognized as an insurrection to the North Korean socialist principles. In 2009, the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-Il targeted Christians all over the country. That resulted in arrests, torture and killings. North Korean leaders are desperately trying to control society in order to eradicate all Christian activities. There are an estimated 200,000 North Koreans in political prisons, including 40,000 to 60,000 Christians.
A veteran North Korean watcher, who can’t be identified due to security reasons, states: “Christians are the target of fierce government action, and once caught, they are not regarded as human. Last year we had evidence that some were used as guinea pigs to test chemical and biological weapons.”
Iran is now No. 2 on the list. Iran was previously No. 3 on the WWL for many years, behind Saudi Arabia. The wave of arrests of Christians which started in 2008 continued even stronger during 2009, resulting in the arrest of at least 85 Christians. It is suspected that the arrests are a way for the Iranian government to distract attention from internal problems, including the domestic turmoil after the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Most of those arrested were mistreated in prison. The turmoil and rioting continued at the end of2009.
“It is certainly not a shock that North Korea is No. 1 on the list of countries where Christians face the worst persecution,” says Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA. “There is no other country in the world where Christians are persecuted in such a horrible and systematic manner. Three generations of a family are often thrown into prison when one member is incarcerated.”