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Christians Are Being Executed In North Korea For Reading The Bible, New Report States

Christians are being executed in North Korea simply for owning a Bible, according to a chilling new report that aims to expose the atrocities that are happening to Christians who are arrested for their faith in the infamous hermit kingdom. Other atrocities detailed in the report include forced abortions and the murder of newborn babies.

Korea Future Initiative recently published a report called “Persecuting Faith: Documenting religious freedom violations in North Korea,” which includes 117 interviews with people who were exiled from North Korea. The London-based group investigated 273 victims of religious freedom violations, ranging in age from just 3 years old to over 80 years old.

While those who adhere to specific religions are placed in North Korea’s “reeducation” camps, Christians are given the worst treatment by far. Over 200 victims were punished in North Korea for crimes like religious practice, religious activities in China, possessing religious items, contact with religious persons, attending a place of worship, and sharing religious beliefs.

The report stated that these victims were tortured in various horrifying ways that included strangulation, starvation, being forced to ingest polluted food, sleep deprivation, and excessive beating. One female prisoner was quoted in the report as saying, “Men were beaten like dogs. Even in the cell. They screamed like crazy because they hurt so much.”

“Even though women were beaten less, I was hit in the face and my skin ruptured and I bled a lot. [Officers] told me to wipe the blood, so I cleaned it,” she added. “I wept a lot when they hit me again. Blood and discharge ruptured during my next pre-trial examination. They hit me again because I wept.”

Perhaps most disturbing of all is the fact that prisoners who were found to be in possession of Bibles were sometimes executed by firing squad, while others were locked in electrified cages and fed watery soup. Some people were allegedly put to death for smuggling Bible pages into the country from China for North Koreans to make prayer books.

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One person was even publicly executed in front of 1,000 people for possessing a Bible. After being tied to a wooden stake, the victim was executed by an MPS firing squad.

“I saw the flesh fall off. That is how close I was,” one person who witnessed the execution said.

After another man was found to have allegedly converted to Christianity, he was allegedly forced into a metal cage that was just 3 feet high and 4 feet wide.

“There were steel bars on all four-sides that were heated with electricity,” he later said. “Usually prisoners lasted only three or four hours in the cage, but I sat there for 12 hours and prayed. I kept praying to God to save me.”

The man eventually soiled himself before passing out, and he was later awoken by being brutally beaten by the guards, leaving him with many injuries.

Forced abortions for Christians are reportedly happening in North Korea as well, with one pre-trial detention center forcing women to get an injection to trigger labor. After the babies are born at this facility, they are taken from their mothers and smothered by guards using plastic sheets or cloth sacks, before their bodies are discarded in a cleaning cupboard.

“Mothers of the aborted infants were forced to resume manual labor the day after the abortion and without medicine or rest,” the report stated.

Il-lyong Ju, an exiled human rights advocate who helped write this report, said that North Koreans are “indoctrinated to despise religion from an early age” and to “deify the supreme leader.”

“The cruel actions of the privileged few in North Korea who take our lives and control our thoughts must be prevented,” he said.

“North Korean officials, whose crimes evoke thoughts of Auschwitz, must be identified and held accountable,” the activist added. “And we must not forget the testimonies of the survivors in this report who have overpowered death in North Korea. This is the least that we, the free North Koreans, and you, the reader who has been granted freedom at birth, can do as our collective act of humanity. We have freedom. The North Korean people do not.”

This piece originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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