The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

North Korean Persecution of Christians

Communist North Korea is such a closed, totalitarian society that any news about daily life is rare and news about religion is virtually non-existent. But this week some news of the ongoing persecution of Christians managed to find its way to the Western media via a group of North Korean exiles. According to the group, North Korea Intellectual Solidarity, the regime apparently uncovered an underground Christian church and arrested all those involved. The three leaders were quickly executed and the remaining 20 were sentenced to a penal labor colony after extensive interrogation. There was no information on the denomination of the underground church.

It seems these North Korean Christians had visited China where they encountered underground Christian churches and started up their own when they returned to North Korea. Pray for these brave Christians who willingly risked their lives for their faith.

Like most totalitarian regimes North Korea rejects the idea of religious freedom, and encourages instead a kind of secular cult that "worships" the Eternal President Kim Il-sung and his son, the Dear Leader Kim Jong-il. But it seems that, as life has become increasingly difficult for the people, there has been a growing interest in religion. It was a peaceful spiritual revolution in Poland that ultimately led to the overthrow of the Communist governments of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Perhaps the same thing will happen in North Korea. With God all things are possible.
North Koreans in front of statue of "Eternal President" Kim Il-sung

To learn about North Korea Intellectual Solidarity, the organization made up of dissident exiles, click here. And to read more about the execution and arrest of these North Korean Christians, click here for the AsiaNews story.

One final thought. I haven't read or heard about this in the secular media. I wonder why?

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