During a recent family dinner, the discussion briefly turned towards religious persecution around the world, and in particular North Korea. Well as it turns out the latest issue of Commentary magazine has an article on the subject, and addresses North Korea specifically as follows:
The crisis is so bad in North Korea, according to Open Doors, that it is literally in a category by itself. The organization classifies countries into five categories. North Korea is the only one in the worst: “Severe Persecution.” The Hermit Kingdoms “score”, calculated by allotting points based on the organization’s own questionnaire, is nearly 25 points higher than second place Iran. “The situation in North Korea during this rating period remains horrific,” the report states, claiming that Christians do not even have the right to exist, according to the government.” Details of the ways these Christians have suffered are little known, thanks to North Korea’s self-imposed isolation and success in making Christianity look as though it has disappeared from its land. As a result, its Christians are left invisible, voiceless, nonexistent.
The abstract of the article is here: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-worldwide-attack-on-christians/, and if you want to read the entire article I would suggest you purchase a copy of the magazine.
During the era of the Soviet Union many were aware that Romania was the worst of the worst in terms of its oppression towards its own people, especially Christians.
While in Africa recently I came across, and read, a book “Tortured for Christ” written by an underground Romanian pastor who experienced severe persecution in the form of 14+ years of imprisonment and torture in the Communist prisons in his country. I suspect the North Korean underground church is today experiencing similar persecution as did Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the author of Tortured for Christ. This book is a hard read, so don’t go there unless you are prepared for a message of shock and horror, as well as an inspiring story of hope. The book tells me that there is much to be hopeful for about North Korea, and I look forward to the day when North Korea is liberated by the love and faithfulness of the underground church there.
In writing this essay I took a look at the web sites of Open Doors and The Voice of the Martyrs both of which have listings of the 50 countries most egregiously guilty of persecution. In looking at the list of countries you will notice it falling into two groups; the Islamic group, and the Atheist group mainly consisting of countries from the former Soviet Union and its soul mates China and North Korea. So please forgive me when I refuse to grant Islam the status of a “great and peaceful” religion. It is most emphatically not!