North Korea: worst persecutor of Christians

North Korea

North Koreans bow to statues of dictator Kim Jong Un’s father and grandfather (photo:  J.A. de Roo)

PRAYER ALERT: For the 12th consecutive year, North Korea took first place in the World Watch list of nations persecuting Christians. North Korea occupies a horrific class by itself. NBC published a Dec. 12 report that dictator Kim Jong Un executed his own uncle by feeding him to 120 starving dogs, with five of his aides. Kim claimed that these grisly deaths boosted national unity “by 100 times.” In this reign of terror, the atrocities committed in North Korea on Christians are unimaginable. Being identified as a Christian is punishable by death or a life of abuse in prison. This penalty is imposed not only on the believer, but on his or her parents, children and grandchildren, no matter what faith they hold. Family members are often forced to witness a Christian’s execution before they are executed too. In November North Korea conducted several mass executions of Christians.

In prison labor camps, persecuting Christians takes the form of torture, or the worst kinds of jobs, such as cleaning septic tanks. About 50,000 to 70,000 Christians live in concentration camps or prisons. South Korean-born American Kenneth Bae was forced to join their ranks last year. He was on a secret Christian missionary trip when North Korean officials seized him on November 3, 2012. Six months later they sentenced him to hard labor in a “special prison.” Kenneth Bae quickly lost 50 pounds and began to go blind before he was moved to another prison. North Korea denied all pleas for his release, including sporadic appeals by Kim’s favorite American “friend” NBA legend Dennis Rodman. North Korea has refused to allow US officials to visit Bae. On August 27 it canceled a trip by US envoy Robert King to seek a pardon for Bae. The reason: North Korea claimed that the US had used nuclear-capable bombers in its annual joint military drills with South Korea in February.

Last year, in advance of the US-South Korea military drills, Kim conducted North Korea’s third nuclear test. He did this in defiance of UN Security Council orders to shut down his nuclear program. On April 10 North Korea briefly raised a nuclear missile into its upright firing position. It warned that it could “turn the strongholds of the enemies into the sea of fire.” This year Kim is already ramping up his belligerent rhetoric. On New Year’s Day he said, ”If the war breaks out again in this land, it will bring about a massive nuclear disaster and the US will never be safe.” Two weeks later North Korea warned South Korea and the US that an “unimaginable holocaust and disaster will follow” if they carry out their joint military defense drills next month.

PRAY WITH US: Father God, You are not only the Creator, but the Supreme Leader of the nations. No one else is worthy to be called by that name. And yet a 30-year-old dictator has taken Your name and Your place in North Korea. He and his father and his grandfather have perpetuated a reign of terror as self-styled gods with totalitarian rule. He has boasted of his power to wreak nuclear disaster on South Korea, Japan and the US. But he and his forebears have cause their nation—physically and spiritually—to be poor, wretched, pitiful, isolated and weak. So desperate is he to maintain power that he cruelly abuses or kills any dissenter—even his own uncle.

Your people, Father, are targets of his wrath. The American Kenneth Bae is getting only a taste of the atrocious conditions they must endure. But You have a special regard for countless sufferers and martyrs under this regime. Hear their cries for justice. Hear the cries of your people in South Korea, called the most Christian nation on earth. They yearn to be reunited with a North Korea set free from this awful tyranny. Kim Jong Un threatens to answer their prayers with nuclear devastation. But You answer differently. Look on this failed state, and let it collapse. Let the new life it has long suppressed emerge. Let nationwide revival break out of the ruins of the old order. Establish new authorities to rule as servants under their true Supreme Leader. And raise up peacemakers to make Korea one nation under God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Related sources for North Korea:

North Korea warns South, US over ‘provocative’ military drills

Kim Jong Un’s executed uncle was eaten alive by 120 hungry dogs: report

Tags for North Korea: Kim Jong Un, persecution of Christians, Kenneth Bae, concentration camps, Dennis Rodman, US, South Korea, Robert King, UN Security Council, North Korea, nuclear tests, nuclear holocaust, Supreme Leader

North Korea ramps up its rhetoric

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