by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A new report by human rights organization Korea Future attests that the North Korean communist regime uses imprisonment, torture, and starvation to persecute Christians, Christian Today (CT) reports. North Korea ranks one on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
Korea Future presented its findings Tuesday in a report titled, "Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment experienced by North Korea's Religious Minorities." The report is based on 237 interviews with survivors, witnesses, and even perpetrators, and managed to escape the North Korean regime and enter democratic South Korea.
"Christianity claims fewer adherents, yet it is the most severely persecuted religious tradition within North Korea. Underground churches consisting of small congregations exist in North Korea, but are rare and subject to extreme levels of persecution,” the report said. Interviewees showed "scars and skeletal deformities" and suffered "back pain, incorrect healing of fractures, somatic complaints, and depressive disorders,” the report said.
Moreover, having imprisoned believers, the regime then deprives them of food as a way to torture them. One interviewee told Korea Future: "I was extremely malnourished. My bones were showing. I kept praying in the cell because that was my only refuge. If I were to say anything about my religion, I would either have been executed by firing squad at the penal facility or transferred to a political prison camp for the remainder of my life.”
Governments of North Korea have been persecuting minority faith groups including adherents of Korean Buddhism, Catholicism, Cheondogyo, North Korean Shamanism, and Protestantism for over 73 years, CT notes.