Thursday, June 01, 2006

Religious Freedom in North Korea?

"There are now some 7,000 North Koreans residing in South Korea, who are accessible to journalists and human rights investigators and are able to help fill in the gaps of information about conditions in North Korea.

"In many cases, interviewees clearly indicated that there was no religious freedom in North Korea. Similarly, results showed that very few North Koreans had ever seen a religious observance taking place in their country.

"The interviews also revealed a system of anti-religious propaganda in the schools and media.

"Shortly after the Korean War, the Kim Il Sung regime abolished all religions entirely.

"In 1988, the North Korean government set up three churches--one each of Protestant, Catholic, and Buddhist--in an attempt to cover up the country’s lack of religiosity, but only a handful of North Korean citizens were allowed to participate in public worship services.

"It is on this basis that the regime contends that it has religious freedom."

--David Hawk, author of “Thank You Father Kim Il-Sung”

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