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'A policy of guilt by association applies' - Christians 'Hung on a cross over fire' and crushed to death in North Korea

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'Christians suffer significantly because of the anti-revolutionary and imperialist labels attached to them by the country's leadership.'

Christian persecution is a world-wide humanitarian issue, but a new report revealed North Korea's policy to rape, torture, enslave and kill Christians for their faith.


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Highlights

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
9/26/2016 (4 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: orth Korea, Christians, faith, Kim Jong-Un, cross, fire

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), "Human rights in North Korea remain among the worst in the world."

The site explains: "There is no freedom of religion and Christians are often tortured, imprisoned and murdered. Deviation from state doctrine is met with ruthless and devastating punishment.


"Around 200,000 are believed to be held in prison camps with no hope of release. In desperation, a number of North Koreans risk their lives to cross the border into China, hoping for an escape. However, China repatriates these refugees, who are often then punished along with two more generations of their family."

The report explains CSW's findings that North Korea's belief in freedom of religion or belief is "largely non-existent."

The report, titled "Total Denial: Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in North Korea," detailed Christian persecution and discrimination against Buddhists, Shamans and other religions.

It shared: "[T]here is almost complete denial of the right to freedom of thought conscience and religion as well as the right to freedom of opinion, expression, information and association...[North Korea] considers the spread of Christianity a particularly severe threat...Christians are prohibited from practicing their religion and are persecuted."

The report outlined how any Christians are immediately subject to detention and are taken to prison camps. While in these camps, they are subjected to: "extra-judicial killing, extermination, enslavement/forced labor, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance, rape and sexual violence, and other humane acts.


"Documented incidents include Christians being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled under-foot."

Other religious practitioners suffer discrimination and certain restrictions but are not treated as harshly as Christians.

The report claims Christians are treated differently because the religion is considered foreign but Christians are also suspected of being spies.

CSW's East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers stated: "North Korea is the world's most closed, repressive State, where the regime is committing crimes against humanity. There is almost total denial of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion.

"To follow any belief other than total loyalty to the ruling Kim dynasty is to risk very grave punishment, and in some instances, death. Our report aims to shine a light on the darkest corner of the globe and to call on the international community to act.

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We also urge China to behave responsibly and to cease its policy of forcible repatriation of North Korean refugees, which is tantamount to a death sentence. The time for change is long overdue."

In an effort to stop North Korea's crimes against humanity, the UN Commission of Inquiry has attempted to force the North Korean government to allow UN Independent Experts unhindered access to the country.

Meanwhile, CSW calls for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

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