|North Korean Refugees Testify of Persecution
04 May 2007
CWNews.com–-WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the U.S. Capitol, there's been a week-long push to expose the crimes of one of the world's most repressive regimes.
Human rights groups want the U.S. government to hold North Korea accountable for the persecution of Christians and political dissidents.
They relied on the testimony of North Koreans who have personally suffered under the policies of Kim Jong-Il.
Min-Bok Lee was a North Korean scientist who thought he had a solution to the country's food shortage. But instead of being heralded a hero, he had to flee for his life.
“I felt danger and was arrested,” Lee said. “I spent time in prison where I was tortured.”
Lee is not alone. Under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-Il, millions of North Koreans have been sent to prison or died of starvation.
For Christians, persecution is even worse. Every day, another North Korean Christian dies. While Phillip Lee was in a prison camp, one of his friends was martyred.
“He was tortured, they broke all of his teeth and legs, but he did not deny his faith,” Phillip said. “He even dared to say you should accept Jesus Christ in court, so the prosecutor said he has to be dead.”
His story is one of many highlighted in Washington, D.C., during this year's North Korean Freedom Week.
These defectors have been joined by human rights activists and congressmen who want to bring attention to the situation in North Korea, and support the persecuted.
Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, says that a failure to protect religious rights in North Korea could also threaten religious freedom in America. He says we must take action against these injustices.
“The U.S. policy must include religious liberty, or else the very nature this country was founded on is in jeopardy,” Moeller said. “As human beings, our response must take the form of action.”
Some of the North Korean defectors say that their faith in God has been an effective witness.
“Nothing changed in the North Korean regime, but thanks to God, He's working on the people, so it is changing the population,” Min-Bok said. “God is the only solution to the problem.”
As North Korean Freedom Week continues, activists will be appealing to both governments and higher powers by holding a prayer meeting and a protest outside the Chinese embassy.
In addition, South Korea's churches are calling on Christians worldwide to pray for the North.
They've proclaimed 2007 the Year of Prayer for North Korea. Korean church leaders say they're anguished over the spiritual darkness and suffering in North.
By Paul Strand
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