North Korea (MNN) — North Korea has been removed from the United States terrorism black list, after North Korea handed over a list of its nuclear facilities to China and agreed to ceremonially blow up a cooling plant at its main reactor. While this appears to be good news, not many critics are convinced.
Jeff King, President of International Christian Concern, a Christian human rights watch-dog group, says, "The first thing that comes to mind is 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.' North Korea has a history of fooling us, and this is not an honest broker we're dealing with. So whether this leads to something — that it's gotten so bad that they're willing to give up nuclear (weapons), I tend to doubt it."
King doesn't believe that this is the beginning of positive things for Christians in North Korea. "Christians in North Korea suffer incredibly. If you are a Christian and you're caught with a Bible, three generations can be put into prison. So you would be put in prison, your children would be put in prison and your parents would be put in prison."
King says Christians not only are imprisoned, but they're beaten, tortured, and executed. King likens their experience to the concentration camps in Germany during World War II.
Even though it's difficult being a Christian in North Korea, a remnant church remains. King says ICC is helping. "It's one of the most secretive places we deal in, so we tend not to say what we're doing there. But there are Bibles going in. There is a church there. That's the incredible thing. These believers will pay the ultimate cost if they're caught. But they need our prayers. They need our help."
King says while the government is so repressive, there is good news. "As dark as things are, where Christianity is persecuted is where it grows. And the more it's persecuted, the more it grows and the more fervent it is."
Because work in North Korea can't be discussed, it's difficult raising money to help these believers. King says, "If someone's concerned about helping the believers in North Korea, we'd love to see you get with us. You can get Bibles inside the country. You can provide training for church leaders inside the country and some other things that we just can't talk about it."
He's asking believers around the world to pray that God would bring down North Korean leader Kim Jong Il "who is enslaving an entire nation," says King.