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Church leaders executed in North Korea

ICC Note: More details emerge on brutal church crackdown in North Korea

8/16/10 North Korea (MNN) – North Korea has consistently topped the world’s human rights watch lists as being the most repressive and closed nation in the world.

The stories of the brutality used against Christians, especially are hair raising.  Voice of the Martyrs Canada just released another report revealing the government executed three leaders of an underground house church and jailed 20 others with them.

North Korean police raided a house in Kuwal-dong in Pyungsung county, Pyongan province, and arrested all 23 believers who had gathered for a “religious function.”

After killing the leaders, the authorities reportedly sent the other 20 to prison camp No. 15 in Yodok.

Due to the xenophobia of this nation and its isolative nature, news like this takes a long time to travel to the border.  This information is VOMC’s most recent, although the arrests and executions happened in mid-May.   

A group of North Korean defectors based in Seoul, calling themselves ‘North Korea Intellectual Solidarity’ confirms the events.  AsiaNews and Release International also confirm them, adding that the 23 Christians had reportedly come to faith after some of them travelled to mainland China on business and came into contact with the church there.

The government often tries to force religious prisoners to renounce their faith by subjecting them to harsh treatment and torture.  Those caught praying are also beaten and tortured.

Watchdog groups estimate some 200,000 North Koreans, many of whom are thought to be Christians, are suffering in detention.

Many citizens attempt to escape North Korea, but are frequently caught and re-patriated.  Those who do confess faith in Christ during the interrogation process have been known to be executed immediately.

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