ICC Note: North Korean Christians have to practice their faith in secret thanks to government’s persecuting nature of Christianity. Although Pyongyang boasts several Christian churches, the reality is that Christians in the country have to hide their faith even from their family members or else they face imprisonment and harsh treatment. For Christmas, South Korean Christian groups are taking their chance to evangelize with decorated Christmas tower and singing carols using loudspeaker at the border.
12/17/2017 North Korea (Express) – North Korea is the most dangerous country in the world for practising Christians and the holiday season is therefore not celebrated openly.
All three despot leaders of the ruling Kim dynasty cracked down on Christianity in North Korea – despite thinly-veiled attempts to display religious tolerance.
The capital of Pyongyang actually boasts several Christian churches but watchdogs claim these are merely puppet facilities designed to trick foreign visitors.
In reality, any genuine Christian would be arrested and sent to a gulag or labour camp if they attended one of these false churches. Therefore the hundreds of thousands of North Korea-based Christians are forced to practise in secret.
Open Doors, a persecution watchdog, said some brave groups do gather to celebrate Christmas in “remote areas”, where they are far from prying eyes.
A spokesperson said: “Christmas is mainly celebrated in the heart of the Christian. Only if the whole family has turned to Christ is it possible to have something like a real gathering.
“For fear of retribution it is necessary to keep your faith hidden from the neighbours. It is sometimes possible to hold a meeting in remote areas with a group of 10 to 20 people.
“Very occasionally, it is possible for Christians to go unobtrusively into the mountains and to hold a ‘service’ at a secret location. Then there might be as many as 60 or 70 North Koreans gathered together.
“Only they can’t just go along to church to sing or listen to a sermon. They can’t even visit one another to read the Bible together. Being a Christian in North Korea is very lonely.”