A South Korean soldier, left, undergoes an experience on what it is like to be held in a North Korean cell at the Korean War exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
- Population – 25,727,408
- Number of Christians – 300,000
- Government – Communist Dictator
- Region – East Asia and the Pacific
Traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DESIGNATIONS
- US IRF = CPC
- USCIRF = Tier One
- ACN = Yes
- Open Doors WWL19 = #1
- Pray that new diplomatic efforts will pay dividends, and will lead to a softening of the North Korean government toward its people.
- The situation for Christians is vulnerable and precarious. They face persecution from state authorities and their non-Christian family, friends and neighbors. Pray for their protection.
- Pray for strength and courage for Christians who suffer in prisons, labor camps and remote areas.
- Pray that God will prepare the underground church in North Korea to be a light for the country—and that they will be ready to share the gospel freely someday soon.
USCIRF Religious Freedom Report 2018 – KEY FINDINGS
The North Korean government’s approach toward religion and belief is among the most hostile and repressive in the world. Freedom of religion or belief does not exist in North Korea. The regime exerts absolute influence over the handful of state-controlled houses of worship permitted to exist, creating a facade of religious life in North Korea. In practice, the North Korean regime treats religion as a threat, partic-ularly faiths associated with the West, such as Christianity, and is known to arrest, torture, imprison, and even execute religious believers. Although it is challenging to obtain infor-mation about violations of religious freedom occurring in North Korea, defector accounts and the work of advocacy and nongovernmental organizations increasingly reveal the regime’s abuses and reinforce the international community’s entreaties for accountability. In the meantime, throughout 2017 the North Korean government perpetuated its long-standing record of systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief, and USCIRF again finds that North Korea, also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), merits designation in 2018 as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). The U.S. Department of State repeatedly has designated North Korea as a CPC since 2001, most recently in December 2018.
[USCIRF COUNTRY REPORT]