North Korean regime bans cross symbols at China border

Customs officers confiscate products with anything resembling the symbol of Christianity

North Korea
August 1, 2016
North Korean border guards are on the lookout for products being imported from neighboring China that bear markings resembling the Christian cross, sources from within the repressive state say, according to RFA.

Customs officers have recently been confiscating products they find that show the mark of the cross, said RFA's anonymous source who is involved in cross-border trade.

"We've always had to make sure there were no Korean characters on the labels of products that we brought in from China," said RFA's source.

"Now we have to check again to see that there isn't anything that looks like a cross," he said.

"Some designs on women's clothing can look a lot like a cross, depending on who is looking at it. Cross designs also appear on women's hairpins and hair bands and on men's neckties."

"These products are more likely to be confiscated during customs checks," he said.

A report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom released May 2, said that the North Korean regime reserves "its most severe persecution for Christians." Though the nation's closed status means figures are hard to come by, the report estimates that tens of thousands of Christians face hard labor or execution in prison.

The Korean Catholic Association has previously claimed 3,000 Catholics exist in North Korea, while the United Nations has estimated just 800.

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