An estimated 40,000 to 70,000 Christians housed in internment camps in North Korea

See accompanying post – North Korea’s Hidden Gulag – Google earth satellite imagery proves the internment camps exist and imprison tens of thousands of Christians

NORTH KOREA Government: Communist dictatorship Main Religion: Atheism/traditional beliefs Population: 20 Million (400,000 Christians)- According to Open Doors International:

Still the most hostile country in which to live and practice the Christian faith, there are reports of many Christians arrested, with at least 25 percent of Christians believed to be languishing in labor camps for their refusal to worship founder Kim Il-Sung’s cult. Half the population lives in the north, close to China, where family-based networks of house churches exist in significant numbers. Roughly ten million inhabitants are malnourished, with thousands eating only grass and bark.

According to Mission News Network:

North Korea ranks #1 on the Open Doors 2012 World Watch List: a compilation of 50 countries where believers face the most religious persecution. An estimated 40,000 to 70,000 Christians suffer in total control zone internment camps, where people labeled as „wrong thinkers” are sent to die.

A new book has just been published by an American journalist  who details life from some of the insiders of these torture camps:

Shin Dong-hyuk was born in this same type of camp in 1982. In his book, Shin admits reporting his mother and brother to prison guards because they were going to escape without him. As a result, they were hung in front of Shin and other prisoners, and he was also tortured as punishment for their „crime.”

Shin told American journalist Blaine Harden, author of Escape from Camp 14, „I wanted people to know this is the kind of children they are raising right now in these camps: people whose loyalty is to the guards and who will do anything to get more food.”

Conditions in North Korean prison camps are similar to camps under the unforgettable regime of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. „Political prisoners” essentially work themselves to death while being subjected to severe physical and psychological torture. Open Doors reported they work 18-20 hours each day, with little to no food. To supplement their rations, prisoners consume anything edible, including snakes, rats, insects, roots, and grass.

In April, the U.S.-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea released a report based on interviews with 60 former prisoners and guards. The 200-page report describes prison camps located mainly in northern mountainous regions behind barbed wire and electric fences – fences Shin climbed through to escape, using his best friend’s body as insulation against the deadly current.

In 2009, North Korea told the UN Human Rights Council, „The term ‘political prisoner’ does not exist in the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] DPRK’s vocabulary…the so-called political prisoners’ camps do not exist.” According to the April report, former prisoners were able to identify their work sites, execution grounds, and other landmarks using satellite imagery available through Google Earth.

Pray for imprisoned believers in North Korea. Ask God to sustain them, and pray that they might be released. Pray for changes that can only be brought about by the Gospel.

Read the entire article here and subscribe to get daily emails about persecuted christians-

North Korea’s Hidden Gulag – Google earth satellite imagery proves the internment camps exist and imprison tens of thousands of Christians + the Hidden Gulag Report (Online Book)

See accompanying post – Christians housed in internment camps in North Korea

Photo via Google satellite via – the rear of a secret Gulag (internment camp for Christians)

6 camps via Google satellite – form

The stories to come out of the camps are horrifying. Inmates regularly die from torture, and are executed by firing squad and public stoning. The ones who survive that are malnourished and diseased, but still forced into slave labor seven days a week, while subsisting on a diet of „rats, snakes, frogs, insects,” and even feces, according to former prisoners.

Yet North Korea continues to deny the existence of the camps. But these new satellite images are identified by the South Korean Unification Ministry as sites of these concentration camps, including the infamous Camp 22 and Yodok, which holds as many as 50,000 prisoners, and make non-existence an increasingly difficult sell. Previous satellite images have been blurry and harder to decipher, but these new images are far more detailed. And according to Amnesty International, they appear to be growing when compared to images taken 10 years ago.

There’s no reason to think that near-incontrovertible evidence will do anything to deter the North Korean government from kidnapping and interring its citizens. They’ve shown time and again that they’re willing to shout down plainly apparent facts. But the public being able to look in with such clarity and definition on the camps where hundreds of thousands of innocent people and political prisoners are being held might—just might—move the needle a bit to the side of humanity. [Daily MailGuardianWashington Post]

Here are a few excerpts from the  CONCLUSIONS in the Hidden Gulag Report. You can read the entire report here –

The Hidden Gulag

Second Edition

The Lives and Voices of
“Those Who are Sent to the Mountains”

David Hawk

Description: Based on extensive interviews with over 60 defectors and more than 40 satellite photos of North Korean political prisoner camps, the report calls for the dismantlement of the vast North Korean gulag system in which 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated.

From Page 158: In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, crimes against humanity are committed against persons sent to the political penal labor colonies. Evidence shows that:

1. Perceived or suspected “wrong-doers” or “wrong-thinkers,” or in some instances, persons with“wrong-knowledge,”123 and/or their family from the DPRK State Security Agency,124 which refuses to acknowledge the deprivation of freedom and refuses to provide information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons with the intent of removing those persons from the “protection of law” for a prolonged period of time.

2. The abducted persons are subjected to deportation or forcible transfer from the area in which they were lawfully present without grounds permitted under international law.

3. The abducted and deported persons are deposited at distant, remote, penal labor colonies or encampments, where they are subjected to “imprisonment or severe deprivation of physi- cal liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law.”129 These abductions, deporta- tions and the subsequent imprisonments all take place without any judicial process. There is no arrest, charge, trial, conviction or sentence, as provided in the DPRK Criminal Code and the DPRK Criminal Procedures Code.

4.The prolonged, indefinite detention of family members is a violation of Article 26 of the ICCPR, “…the law shall prohibit any discrimi- nation and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” The imprisonment of family members amounts to what the ICC Statute terms as “persecu- tion.” Most family members of suspected wrong-doers or wrong-thinkers are detained for the rest of their lives in sections of the prison camps termed “total control zones.”

5. Once cut off from any contact with the coun- try or world outside of the prison camp, including former family and friends, the imprisoned persons are subjected, usually for a lifetime, to arduous forced labor under extremely severe circumstances. This begins with the provision of below subsistence level food rations.

7. Prisoners are regularly subjected to beatings and sometimes more systematic torture for infractions of prison camp regulations and during interrogations.

8.On numerous occasions, prisoners compelled to observe executions (which are carried out publicly to demonstrate to other prisoners the severe consequences of escape attempts and/or non-compliance with camp regulations) …

9. Prison camp officials and guards are regularly able to exact sexual relations with female prison- ers under circumstances that have been judged to constitute rape or sexual violence …

These are just a few excerpts from the  CONCLUSIONS in the Hidden Gulag Report. You can read the entire report here –

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