As the news of Kim Jong-Il’s death is being shared around the world, there have been many different reactions.
Some are relieved that this dictator is no longer in power and believe that his son and successor, Kim Jong-Un, will be a leader that cares more for the people of North Korea. Others fear that this transition will make life in North Korea even worse than it was before.
Many news agencies are only focusing on the reaction to Kim Jong-Il’s death and are omitting the horrific details of what life was like under his regime. Approximately 2-4 million North Koreans starved to death in the 1990’s. The political prison camps of North Korea were expanded under Kim Jong-Il’s reign with at least 200,000 prisoners in these camps. These citizens were imprisoned solely for falling out of favor with the regime, for being Christian or for being related to someone who fell out of favor with the regime. Repatriation of North Korean refugees often results in execution or detention. Numerous documents show that forced abortions and experimentation on prisoners with chemical weapons are common.
These human rights violations are even worse for Christians living in North Korea. In North Korea, any form of worship to anyone other than the “Great Leader” (Kim Il-Sung) and the “Supreme Leader” (Kim Jong-Il) is seen as treason. North Korean Christians are often arrested, tortured or even killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. There are an estimated 400,000 secret believers in North Korea. Of these, an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians are being held in North Korean prison camps where they face even more horrific treatment than other prisoners. You can learn more about what life is like for Christians in North Korea in World Watch-North Korea:
The future of North Korea is very much unknown. This is why it is vital that we pray for this country and for the Christians in it. Thank you for joining with us in this important task!