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November 18, 2005

Korean Reds Targeting Christians

Topics: International News
A woman in her 20s executed by a firing squad after being caught with a Bible. Five Christian church leaders punished by being run over by a steamroller before a crowd of spectators who "cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed." - MEGHAN CLYNE - Staff Reporter of the NY Sun, November 16, 2005
kn-map.gif Ms. Clyne writes that these and other "horrifying" violations of human rights and religious freedom in North Korea are reported in a new study by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, titled "'Thank You, Father Kim Il Sung': Eyewitness Accounts of Severe Violations of Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion in North Korea." Thank you, Father Kim Il Sung" is the first phrase North Korean parents are instructed to teach to their children.
These and other "horrifying" violations of human rights and religious freedom in North Korea are reported in a new study by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, titled "'Thank You, Father Kim Il Sung': Eyewitness Accounts of Severe Violations of Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion in North Korea."
The report, released yesterday, comes as President Bush is touring Asia, calling for increased political freedom. In remarks prepared for delivery early this morning in Japan, the president called on Red China to extend more freedom to its population of 1.3 billion. In an advance text of the speech, President Bush also extolled Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province, as "a free and democratic Chinese society." And the president noted North Korean human rights abuses while reassuring the Hermit Kingdom's people.

"Satellite maps of North Korea show prison camps the size of whole cities," Mr. Bush said. "We will not forget the people of North Korea."

Yesterday on Capitol Hill the chairman of the Commission on International Religious Freedom, Michael Cromartie, and two members of Congress who helped establish the commission, Reps. Frank Wolf of Virginia and Chris Smith of New Jersey, called on Mr. Bush to include the specific findings of the North Korean report in his diplomatic discussions with Chinese and South Korean officials this week, and to urge leaders of both Asian nations to take a firmer stand against their communist neighbor.

Mr. Cromartie told The New York Sun after the event that senior administration officials at the National Security Council had been provided with an advance copy of the report so that Mr. Bush could raise particular human rights abuses with his Chinese and South Korean interlocutors.

Mr. Cromartie said yesterday during the study's unveiling on Capitol Hill that the report was unique in its depth and breadth, and in the quantity of first-hand accounts, since it is notoriously difficult to obtain reliable information from inside North Korea, owing to the country's complete isolation under the Kim dictatorship.

Among the first-hand reports are eyewitness accounts of Christians' being executed for the underground practice of their faith. Continue reading...


Suggested readings:
Welcome to North Korea. Rule No. 1: Obey all rules.
North Korea - Christianity Today Magazine
CIA Factbook: North Korea
Christian Group Calls on Prayers for North Korea

Hat tip to Gary Gornowicz

Posted by Richard at November 18, 2005 1:44 PM



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