Communist and post-communist oppression
Chairman Kim Jong-un
Being discovered as a Christian is a death sentence in North Korea. If you aren’t killed instantly, you will be taken to a labor camp as a political criminal. These inhumane prisons have horrific conditions, and few believers make it out alive. Everyone in your family will share the same punishment. Kim Jong-un is reported to have expanded the system of prison camps, in which an estimated 50-70,000 Christians are currently imprisoned.
Most Christians are unable to meet with other believers, and have to keep their faith entirely hidden. There are even stories of husbands and wives not knowing, for many years, that their spouse was also a Christian.
Secret police carry out raids to identify Christians, and children are encouraged to tell their teachers about any sign of faith in their parents’ home. A Christian is never safe.
“I ask those who have been praying for North Korea from all around the world to pray for North Korea to be able to come to the gospel. The North Korean citizens are like slaves. With the light of the Lord, they would be freed.”
The year 2021 is the 20th year in a row that North Korea has been ranked as the country where Christians face the most extreme persecution. North Korean Christians continue to face extreme persecution in every element of their public and private lives.
Though the North Korean authorities claim that COVID-19 has had little impact in the country, North Koreans call it the “ghost disease”—because people are so malnourished already that they die very quickly from COVID-19. The pandemic has led to tighter security at the Chinese border.
Any Christian, anywhere in North Korea, is extremely vulnerable to persecution. The North Korean authorities’ control goes beyond the borders: Secret agents in China are tasked with finding and abducting North Korean Christians who have fled the country.
Open Doors secret workers are keeping 90,000 North Korean believers alive with vital food and aid through safe houses and networks in China, as well as providing Bibles, training through Christian radio broadcasting, and providing shelter and training for North Korean refugees in China.