Being a Christian in North Korea means using mysterious, spylike tactics to read the Bible, facing threats of the death penalty, and circumventing propaganda with tales of believers harvesting organs, according to persecution watchdog groups.
Ministries have been creatively sneaking Bibles and smuggling bits and pieces of Scripture through land, air and sea for years to aid the “underground” church in Kim Jong Un‘s communist nation, where he is viewed as the only god.
“The Kim regime in North Korea is more than a political machine or even an authoritarian military/police force. It is also, quite literally, a religion, which they call ‘Juche,’ or self-reliance,” Todd Nettleton, spokesman for The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a Christian persecution watchdog, explained to Fox News. “This religious aspect undergirds the entire regime and teaches that the Kim family members aren’t just political leaders but in fact divine beings.”
North Koreans are taught hymns of praise to Kim Il Sung, the nation’s founder, and to the current leader, Kim Jong Un, who recently praised China’s handling of the coronavirus. Kindergarteners are taught to say a prayer before they eat: “Thank you, Father Kim Il Sung, for our food.”
When reading Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them,” North Koreans see a different version: “Where two or three are gathered one of them is likely a spy.”
Propaganda in the country encourages citizens to worship communism, and includes artwork showing Westerners and Christians violently killing Koreans. One defector, who converted to Christianity, said he was terrified of the first Christian he met because he was taught they would harvest his organs.
“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.”
The nation tops the list for the worst persecutors of Christians and other religious minorities, according to Open Doors USA, another persecution watchdog group.
Citizens are required to spy on their neighbors, Nettleton explains. “So a ‘church’ meeting inside North Korea is only two to three people, typically from within the same family. 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.”
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SOURCE: Fox News, Caleb Parke