Church in North Korea Exists but Deeply Underground

Friday, May 15, 2020

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - There are Christians in North Korea but congregations are typically made up of two or three people from the same family, Fox News reports. The North Korean church exists, but it has had to go deeply underground: under the Kim Jong Un regime, believers – and their families - may face the death penalty or detention if their faith is discovered.

Talking to Fox News about the danger for Christians in North Korea, Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) spokesman Todd Nettleton said the regime teaches that its leaders are divine beings, not just political or authoritarian figures. “So Christianity isn't just a 'foreign' religion or a different philosophical lens through which to look at the world," Nettleton said. "It's treason! If 'Jesus is Lord,' then by definition, Kim Jong Un isn't. That idea is so dangerous to the regime that it simply cannot be allowed to spread inside North Korea."

Describing the lives of believers in the country, Nettleton said: “Those that have Bibles likely read very late at night, with all the windows of their home blocked, and sometimes even with the windows blocked they read under a blanket, in a closet or somewhere else they’re less likely to be noticed." Such measures are taken because neighbors are required to spy on each other, Nettleton explained.

As missionaries cannot be sent to North Korea, VOM has found unusual ways to smuggle in Bibles and Scriptures. Although some of these ways are too secret to be divulged, Nettleton was able to tell Fox News of a number of methods used: balloons holding Scripture are floated over the border, radio broadcasts are made with one person reading Scripture slowly enough for the listener to write it down and plastic bottles holding Scripture are sent by sea.

North Korea ranks number one on the Open Doors USA watchdog list of the worst persecutors of Christians and other religious minorities.