Religious persecution in North Korea is so bad it can get you jailed for life, or even cost you your life, if you pray or read the Bible.
"If you are a Christian in North Korea and you are discovered to be a Christian, if you are found to possess a Bible in your home, if you are found to be meeting with other Christians to pray, you certainly will end up in a prison camp for probably for the rest of your life, in some cases you might be executed," according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide's East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers.
Earlier this year, the State Department reported an estimated 80,000-120,000 North Koreans are being held in political prison camps, and many for religious reasons," according to ChristianHeadlines.com.
That total is compared the State's estimates of 200,000-400,000 Christians among North Korea's population of approximately 25.2 million, per the State Department.
"Defector accounts indicated religious practitioners often concealed their activities from neighbors, coworkers, and other members of society due to fear their activities would be reported to the authorities," the State Department report stated. ". . . Religious and human rights groups outside the country continued to provide numerous reports that members of underground churches were arrested, beaten, tortured, and killed because of their religious beliefs.
The level of human rights abuses are potentially even on the level of the Holocaust, according to Thomas Buergenthal, an Auschwitz survivor who is now a jurist on the International Court of Justice.
"I believe that the conditions in the [North] Korean prison camps are as terrible, or even worse, than those I saw and experienced in my youth in these Nazi camps and in my long professional career in the human rights field," he told The Washington Post.
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