New report explains why North Korea is first on Open Doors’ World Watch List
North Korea has occupied the first place of Open Doors' Wolrd Watch List for the last twenty years. Now, a report, released by the non-profit Korea Future Initiative, shows some figures, proving that the situation of Christians in North Korea is even worse than we could imagine.
The report is based on 117 interviews they conducted in 2019 and 2020. The witnesses report 273 victims. Respondents also say there were:
- 244 incidents of arbitrary arrest (which means there was no likelihood or evidence of a crime or no due process of law—depriving people of liberty and their rights)
- 79 incidents of forced return to North Korea by refugees;
- 36 incidents of torture or sustained physical assault;
- 32 incidents of sexual violence;
- 20 incidents of execution
Furthermore, Christians who manage to escape the country are not still safe. Many refugees are caught in China and sent back to North Korea. Open Doors share the story of a woman, who came to this fate:
“One day, I was walking along the street in China and a black car pulled up next to me,” she remembers. “I thought the man wanted to ask for directions, but the driver and other men stepped out of the vehicle and grabbed me. I resisted but couldn’t get away. They pushed me into the car and, when the door closed and the car drove away, I realized my life was over. After a few weeks in a Chinese prison cell, I was handed over to the North Korean authorities. They brought me to this detention centre. I had to strip off all my clothes and they searched every part of my body to see if I had hidden anything, money especially.”
However, Christians in North Korea continue struggling, and they do not give up on God. Let us pray for them to remain in their faith, and their leaders do not grieve their lives.