Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The underground church in North Korea

There are reports that underground churches are beginning to flourish in the isolated Stalinist state of North Korea, which preaches its own doctrine of juche, or self-reliance, and forbids all but the most limited forms of state-sponsored worship.

A recently defected North Korean woman told RFA's Korean service, "There was a Bible in my home. With it, we used to sing hymns, and my grandmother preached. … I was young at that time and kept an eye on the outside to see if someone was approaching," the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

The woman said her family had been unofficial Christians for three generations, and that the meetings were attended by around 10 other believers.

Later, however, the North Korean intelligence service became suspicious of their activities and installed hidden listening devices in each home. About one year later, the family and relatives were forced to move to another place and they were never allowed to return home, she said.

"My daddy was arrested. Then my grandmother died of sorrow, and all my family had to undergo harsh investigation from the Intelligence Service and were then expelled to a secluded place," she said, adding that they were charged with political crimes.

[Radio Free Asia]

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