Arielle Del Turco on When Dealing With North Korea, Human Rights Must Take Priority

North Korea has been the No. 1 persecutor of Christians on the group’s annual list for a consecutive 18 years, and the US State Department has included North Korea on its list of countries violating religious freedom every year since 2001. | (Photo: Open Doors)

The North Korean capital of Pyongyang greeted the new year with singing, dancing, and fireworks as the national anthem played at midnight on December 31st.

Beyond the staged Pyongyang crowd and across the rest of the darkened country, the reaction to another year under the Kim regime may have received a less warm welcome —especially in the numerous political prison camps thought to detain an estimated 120,000 people, according to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

The 2014 United Nations Commission of Inquiry on human rights conditions in North Korea found that a wide range of acts perceived to be against the state can land someone in a political prison camp. For repatriated defectors, simply encountering a Christian church is grounds for detention in a political prison camp, or even execution. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) believes as many as 50,000 of the prisoners in political labor camps are Christians imprisoned for their faith.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Arielle Del Turco

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