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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

North Korea: Christian Persecution as Severe as Nero’s Rome, Experts Say

  • Amanda Casanova
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 May 25
  • Comments

Human rights activists told Capitol Hill lawmakers that Christians in North Korea are facing persecution that is likely “on par” with the level of persecution that the Early Christian Church endured under Roman emperor Nero.

The activists, convened by International Christian Concern, told lawmakers about the human rights abuses that Christians face. They also asked lawmakers to support a resolution to reauthorize the North Korean Human Act of 2004.

"Our colleagues in South Korea have thoroughly documented cases of religious persecution,” said Greg Scarlatoui, the executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

“Organizations such as Database Center for North Korean Human Rights and the Korean Institution for National Unification [have] interviewed thousands of defectors who brought testimony of extremely severe religious persecution," Scarlatoiu said. "Like other Communist leaders, as mentioned earlier, Kim Il-sung and the Kim regime has rejected religion as the 'opium of the people.'"

For the past 15 years, North Korea has ranked as the top persecutor of Christians by Open Doors USA. Any Christian worship, or religious worship, is illegal and can be punished be arrest, torture or execution.

"One can confidently say that it is the Kim family regime that has taken religious persecution, in particular the persecution of Christians, to a level, perhaps, on par with Nero's Rome as well as the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian genocide of World War I or the Yazidi genocide today," Scarlatoiu said.

 

Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com

Publication date: May 25, 2017