The North Korean government officially recognizes Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un as a god, but a defector claims the people of North Korea are rejecting that idea in droves. Instead, many are becoming Christians, even though doing so could get them executed.
It is easy to forget that behind Kim Jon Un’s insolence and the nuclear threats from the military of North Korea, there are millions of people living in oppression and poverty. Thousands have been jailed and executed, and untold thousands have starved to death, according to human rights groups.
Even though the people are told to worship the Kim family as a deity, North Korean Christians are starting churches across the country. They are often supported by the large Christian population in South Korea, who often smuggle in missionaries to minister to people.
The U.S. State Department issued a report on religious freedom around the world that states North Korea threatens citizens with jail, torture, and execution if they worship any other god besides Kim Jong Un. North Korean Christians face a perilous future for their faith.
“In the past, the people were told to worship the Kim family as their god, but many North Koreans no longer respect Kim Jong-un,” the defector said. “That means they are looking for something else to sustain their faith. In some places, that has led to the emergence of shamens, but the Christian church is also growing and deepening its roots there. Even though people know they could be sent to prison – or worse – they are still choosing to worship, and that means that more cracks are appearing in the regime and the system.”
The unnamed defector is now part of the Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea.
Launching the first report since President Donald Trump took office, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took swipes at Bahrain, China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Turkey.
But the report also took aim at North Korea for denying people the ‘right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’.
The report says: ‘The government continued to deal harshly with those who engaged in almost any religious practices through executions, torture, beatings and arrests’, the report states.
‘An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners, some imprisoned for religious reasons, were believed to be held in the political prison camp system in remote areas under horrific conditions.’
There is hope that the rise of Christianity could fuel a revolution movement to oust Kim Jong Un, but any revolution would need the support of the military.