(MNN) — North Korea
faces condemnation for its religious and human rights record.
A privately-commissioned report entitled "Failure to
Protect" calls for a humanitarian initiative in North Korea from the U.N. Security
Council. Disturbing facts have come to
light, including the fact that over a third of the children in the country
suffer from malnutrition and that the government has cut off humanitarian aid
organizations from the most needy regions.
The repressive regime of Kim Jong Il casts a long shadow of
a people hard pressed. Open Doors' Carl
Moeller says that as a member of the North
Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC), that's why they're participating in North Korea
Freedom Week, April 22nd through the 29th.
On April 28, the NKFC will sponsor a demonstration outside
the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., called the "International Protest against China's
Violent Treatment of North Korean Refugees."
The protest is part of the ongoing effort to pressure the
Chinese government to stop sending North Korean refugees back home where they
are either imprisoned or killed. The rally will start at noon. Similar
demonstrations will be held April 28 at Chinese consulates and embassies around
the world, including Los Angeles, Houston, and New York City in
the United States.
In addition, Open Doors USA will sponsor a panel discussion
on the state of religious freedom in North Korea
at the National Press Club in Washington
on April 26 at 3 p.m. Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will host
other panel discussions on North Korea-related topics during the week.
Aside from raising awareness of the conditions, they're
reminding believers of the remnant church there. "Open Doors has had the opportunity to
do a number of different projects to directly support and sustain Christians in
who are suffering greatly during this difficult winter that just passed."
For the fifth year in a row, North Korea tops Open Doors' World
Watch list as the worst violator of religious rights for Christians. Between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are
currently suffering in prison camps. Many of them are tortured. People are still putting their lives at stake
by trying to flee to China.
Yet, amidst all the harshness in the country, the local
Christians are dedicated to serving the local Body of Christ and are firmly
standing strong during this period of relentless persecution.
Moeller says prayer makes a huge difference. "We've been leading a three-year
international prayer campaign for North Korea. We believe that this is the crucial year–that
three years of prayer will be focused on bringing light and hope to the
believers, and to all people in North