Christian Solidarity Worldwide has issued a harrowing report of religious persecution inside North Korea, including allegations that authorities there ran over confessing Christians with a steamroller.
The report, Total Denial: Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in North Korea, was issued September 23, “Save North Koreans Day”, and claims liberty with respect to religion – or any belief contrary to the state’s communist ideology – is “largely non-existent.”
“Documented incidents include Christians being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled under-foot,” the report claims.
Christians, who are forced to practice their faith in secret, are often the targets of persecution. Those discovered are sent to concentration camps where they take part in forced labor. They are also subjected to sexual violence, torture and “extra-judicial” killings.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom also said in its report that Christians considered to have participated in acts of worship, of having studied the Bible or having possessed a church hymnal “are typically jailed, or worse.”
“In prison, Christians reportedly endure harsher treatment than other prisoners. It is estimated that tens of thousands of Christians in North Korea are currently in prison camps facing hard labor or execution,” the USCIRF report said.
The CSW report also documents China’s deportation of North Korean refugees who are able to escape the country. The country immediately returns the refuges in violation of its obligations under the United Nations Convention on Refugees Treaty of 1951.