North Korea starts purge against Christians to curb faith's growth

The North Korean regime has reportedly been jailing, torturing, and executing Christians as part of a purge launched to curb the growth of their faith across the country. However, the number of believers continues to rise despite the extreme level of persecution.

(REUTERS / Edgar Su)The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017.

According to a report issued by the U.S. State Department, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has launched a brutal crackdown on Christians and other people who worship gods other than him, his father Kim Jong Il and his grandfather Kim Il Sung. The crackdown comes amidst the continuous growth of the population of Christians and Buddhists in the reclusive state, Catholic Online detailed.

The U.S. government's report said North Koreans were systematically being denied the freedom of thought and conscience. Between 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners have been condemned for religious practice, with some forced to work in concentration camps for life.

One defector told The Telegraph that there are many North Koreans who have lost their respect for Kim Jong Un. This is the reason why the latter has launched a purge against citizens suspected to be disloyal to the regime.

A young Christian girl from North Korea told Open Doors USA how her family was banished to a far place in the 1950s and had to practice their faith in secret. She was initially unaware that her parents were believers until she heard them listening to a Christian radio station, adding that her discovery could have cost her her life.

When the girl got married, she and her husband eventually grew wary of the system the North Korean government was implementing, saying one out of three people were spies. They eventually had to leave their son behind and fled to China, but Christians there led them to Jesus and helped them until they were able to pay to have the boy brought to them.