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North Korea tops NGO’s anti-Christian list

Open Doors says country oppresses Christianity for the ninth consecutive year

North Koreans bowing to the statue of former leader Kim Il-sung (Photo courtesy of Open Doors Korea) North Koreans bowing to the statue of former leader Kim Il-sung (Photo courtesy of Open Doors Korea)
  • Stephen Hong, Seoul
  • Korea
  • January 10, 2011
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North Korea has topped the annual list of the world’s toughest country to oppress Christianity for the ninth consecutive year, says Open Doors, an international Christian NGO.

The NGO serving persecuted Christians worldwide issued on Jan. 5 its World Watch List 2011 that ranks 50 countries where the Christian faith is most difficult to practice.

Open Doors said “the situation for Christians was even more terrible” due to the country’s recent currency reforms, resulting in two out of 10 people losing their homes.

It mentioned the incident last year in May when a Christian home-church was discovered by North authorities whereby three Christians were immediately sentenced to death and 20 others sent to a labor camp.

The NGO noted that many North Korean people do not believe the situation for local Christians would change when Kim Jong-eun succeeds his father, Kim Jong-il.

However, it did presume that Christianity in North Korea “is growing slowly” judging from hundreds of Christians arrested in 2010.

The annual list is compiled from a list of 50 questions covering various aspects of religious freedom conducted by the research department of Open Doors International from Nov. 1, 2009 to Oct. 31, 2010.

The top 10 are North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Laos.

Open Doors was founded in 1955.

Related report
North Korea repressing religious freedom

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