North Korea (MNN) — A United Nations envoy says there's
been no improvement in North Korea's human and religious rights record.
The envoy cited public executions and tortures in his
report. While North Korea has opened its
doors to some Non-Government
Organizations for food aid, little progress has been made toward the
improvement of humanitarian rights of the
reclusive country's citizens.
Human rights watchdogs also accuse North Korea of using
intimidation as well as a vast network of political prison camps to keep its
people in line and discourage open dissent.
Open Doors' Carl Moeller agrees, noting that the country's
vicious treatment of the underground church also continues. That has earned the country the top spot on
their World Watch list* five years in a row. "How a country treats its
Christians is a bellwether of how it performs on all human rights
measures. So the Christians–in this
case, in North Korea–are on the lowest rung. They are singled out, in most cases, where Christians are identified as
active followers of Jesus Christ, for torture, and abuse and
Many attempt to escape North Korea by fleeing to neighboring
China, but they are often forcibly repatriated. They then face interrogation,
torture, detention and often death. Those who do confess faith in Christ
during the interrogation process have been known to be executed immediately.
The U.S. Committee for Human Rights reports an increase in the
number of Christians confined because of their beliefs in 2004. They estimate
that there are 6,000 Christians in one prison alone.
Moeller says Christians need to pray that other believers
would be united with them spiritually as an encouragement.
"We are bringing, in very creative ways, materials in to help the
believers in North Korea, itself. In
addition to working with refugees in the Chinese border area, Open Doors is
providing the necessary materials needed to make it through a difficult
*The World Watch List ranks the top 50 countries according to the intensity
of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith. The
list is compiled based on the answers to questions covering various aspects of
religious freedom from Open Doors' indigenous contacts, field workers and