As the drums of war beat louder between the United States and North Korea, more stories are coming out about the inhumane and brutal treatment of Christians in North Korea, many who in addition to living in squalor and misery have to meticulously hide their faith in Christ lest they be put to death. It does not matter who they are or how old they are, for the mere association with the name of Christ will put a man to death in the most horrible of ways, such as a case where a group of North Korean orphans, some of them Christian were recently tortured for trying to flee the regime:
North Korean orphans are “tortured harshly” if it’s discovered they’re Christian, and the Chinese government is complicit is these atrocities, according to human rights activists and freedom advocates for North Korea.
Several human rights advocates, including a North Korean defector who wore sunglasses to conceal her identity, told harrowing accounts of orphaned children in North Korea and refugees living in China to draw attention to their plight during a panel held at Georgetown University on Wednesday.
The event was part of the week-long North Korean Freedom Week sponsored by the North Korean Freedom Coalition, hosted by the Isabella Foundation and Georgetown’s Truth and Human Rights in North Korea.
Lim Hye-Jin of the New Korea Women’s Union recounted through a translator one such story about the North Korean dictatorship’s treatment of 17 North Korean orphans who decided to defect and made their home under a bridge in China. They were arrested and detained at a detention center in China and forcibly repatriated to North Korea. Three of the 17 were discovered to be Christians and were sent to a political prison camp.
“Under North Korean law, children under the age of 18 should not be sent to a political prison camp. But in this case, they were found to be Christians and had been in a church, [so] they were separated from their group” where they were “tortured harshly” while the other orphans were sent to a reeducation camp with other children, Lim said.
The North Korean security agents found out that they were Christians because they discovered calluses on their knees, as they had been praying for a long time for God to help them, Lim said.
The other 14 orphans were told that the three Christian orphans who had been separated from the group had been sent back to an orphanage in North Korea. But those children told Lim that if that was so, they knew that they would try to escape because they were “100 percent sure” they would starve to death if they had stayed in the orphanage. They at least had a chance at survival begging in the streets.
Suzanne Scholte, founder and president of the Defense Forum Foundation, who co-hosted the panel, noted that North Korean refugees are unlike any others worldwide because they have a place to go for immediate resettlement as they are citizens of South Korea under the South Korean Constitution.
“There’s no reason for China to continue this brutal inhumane policy of how they deal with the North Korean refugees and the orphans,” Scholte added, noting that the crisis could be solved overnight if the Chinese government would abide by its international treaty obligations.
The severe persecution of Christians in North Korea isn’t new. Open Door USA consistently ranks the totalitarian nation as the most oppressive place in the world for Christians.
The Christian Post asked the panel why the North Korean regime considers Christianity particularly threatening so as to even torture children.
“The Kim regime established itself using some of the doctrine of the Christian faith,” Scholte explained, adding that Kim Il Sung, the first of the Kim dynasty, recognized the power of the faith since many of those who stood up to Japanese oppressors were Christians and were instrumental in the Korean independence movement even though they were a small minority of the population.
But Kim Il Sung “perverted it for his own purposes, setting himself up as God,” she said, appropriating his son as the Christ figure and “Juche,” which means “self-reliance,” for the Holy Spirit. The regime has a creed of its own which is patterned after the Apostles Creed, which declares religious allegiance to the dictatorship.
“So if you’re a Christian and you believe in God [and not the dictator] that’s a direct threat to the regime,” she said. (source)
Now this story came out a few days ago, and there is a reason why I did not cover it immediately. Can you guess?
It’s because I find its timing questionable.
The persecution of Christians in North Korea is not new. In fact, it has been going on for a long time and is really horrific. There is a reason why for many years North Korea has been listed as the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian in, because as part of the obsessive drive for control that the North Korean government has, in which the official state religion is a worship of the Kim family- which is again something that has been known about for a long time- those who are caught having any affiliation with Christianity are horribly tortured to death in the same ways that we have seen take place in many Muslim lands. If there is a land that one might consider to be a hell on earth in combination with the religious persecution and the extreme limitations which the government puts on public utilities and how the majority of people live in miserable, absolute poverty, North Korea fits that definition to a degree.
The world has known this. America has known this and yet so little has been actually done by America outside of an occasional statement. But now, as America beats the proverbial war drums to start a war with North Korea, is when all of a sudden there is public mention of the Kim cult and his persecution of Christians coming to light.
You might call me cynical, but I call this targeted outrage.
In past articles, I have written about a program of psychological warfare against the American people called Operation Northwoods. This was a program during the 1960s in which the CIA was going to pretend to be a group of Cuban terrorists who would capture unknowing American citizens, torture, and execute some of them publicly before being “defeated” by American military forces. The purpose of this would be to incite public anger against Fidel Castro so to justify an American invasion of Cuba on the false assumption that they attacked us.
Our own government was willing to murder the very people it is supposed to protect so that it could send more people to die in wars it wants purely for economic and geopolitical gain. Somebody- the groups of people- willing to destroy other people’s lives solely to justify acquiring power for the sake of power is one of the gravest evils that a man can commit against his neighbor. It strikes deeply at any concept of social trust, and is a formula for sowing dissent and revolution. Now while Operation Northwoods never took place as was planned, the concept which it was based on has prevailed and remains a central part of American foreign policy. While we may directly attack our own citizens, we will usually either allow attacks to happen (such as with 9/11) or use strategic propaganda to give the impression that somebody has the ability to inflict more harm than they actually could, such as in the case of North Korea.
Kim Jong-Un. A petty dictator of a weak nation.
North Korea is in no position to attack anybody. Their ruler is a petty man who for all purposes seems to view North Korea as his personal playground, and for most of his life he was more concerned with indulging himself in childish fantasies. Yes, he has nuclear weapons, but former American Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld himself was involved in the transaction. This was no accident, just like how the rise of the Taliban and ISIS were no accident either. These things were done with the purpose of manufacturing a specific outcome. In the case of North Korea, we are seeing that with the anti-Russian and anti-Chinese statements coming out of the Trump administration, the purpose is clear, that “North Korean aggression” might be used as a flashpoint to trigger a war against the Chinese and even more importantly as far at the US is concerned, against the Russians.
In layman’s terms, we gave big weapons to a loose cannon knowing he would try to do crazy things with them, and then use his crazy behavior to go to war against the few allies he has. It’s not about North Korea- it’s about China and Russia.
Make no mistake, I am not saying that the persecution of Christians in North Korea should be ignored. We have a moral responsibility to discuss it and help to stop the evils that have been taking place there as we can. That said, do not be made a fool by becoming incensed at what North Korea has been doing and feel a need to support American aggression against that nation, because the reality is that Washington and her owners in finance and industry do not care about North Koreans, Christians, orphans, or really anybody else at all unless they can be used as a means to gain power for themselves and over others with no regard to the consequences of their actions.