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NGO to aid North Korean Christians

Voice of the Martyrs to disburse 80,000 dollars worth of necessities

NGO to aid North Korean Christians
Screenshot of the Voice of the Martyrs website
Stephen Hong, Seoul

January 5, 2011

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An international Christian NGO said it will provide assistance to underground Christians in North Korea this year. The Canadian office of the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), an interdenominational NGO, will send basic necessities, stationery, medicine and the Bible to North Korean Protestants who have been secretly practicing their faith despite the oppression from authorities there, the organization’s spokesperson told Radio Free Asia (RFA). The RFA on Jan. 4 reported that the NGO will be sending in US$80,000 worth of goods to 1,600 underground Christian families during the first half of 2011. The money came from their last year’s campaign to raise fund for the Christians in North Korea. NGOs in China that have good relations with the organization will help with the consignment of goods, the spokesperson said. Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in communist Romania for his faith, founded VOM in 1967. According to “Open Doors,” another NGO which serves persecuted Christians worldwide, North Korea has 200,000 underground Christians. North Korea officially guarantees freedom of religion and there are several religious organizations of Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, and followers of Chondo-gyo, an indigenous Korean religion. However, the country has only one Catholic and two Protestant churches, all in Pyongyang. Catholic Church sources say persecution of Christians has increased in tandem with recent international conflict on North Korea´s nuclear program. Related report Refugees slate North Korea on religion KO12711.1635
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