NORTH KOREA: Irish Christians join Global Week of Prayer

Irish Christians will be joining in the Global Week of Prayer for North Korea next week – beginning on Monday 25th June (the anniversary of the start of the Korean War). CCFC has produced a special Prayer Card (pictured) encouraging prayer under the following headings – North Korean government, Juche ideology, Underground Church, Labour Camps, Refugees from North Korea and Revival.

The Global Week of Prayer is part of a Year of Prayer which has been called by the church in South Korea marking the centenary of the Pyongyang Revival – when a great spiritual revival swept through the city which is now capital of North Korea.

The suffering of the people of North Korea has been documented in a new report published earlier this week by Christian Solidarity Worldwide which accuses North Korea of international crimes including crimes against humanity.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s report, North Korea: A Case to Answer РA Call to Act, states that “there is a prima facie case for the commission of crimes against humanity, namely murder, extermination, enslavement/forced labour, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance of persons, other inhumane acts and, perhaps, rape and sexual violence.

The report also examines the possibility of genocide and concludes that there are indicators of genocide against religious groups, specifically Christians, implemented in particular in the 1950s and 1960s. The strictly hierarchical system of government and the information available about decision-making in North Korea suggests that the political leadership, and in particular Kim Jong-Il, is responsible for the commission of such crimes.

The analysis focuses primarily on the extensive political prison camp system where 200,000 people are believed to be held. It has been written by international lawyers and provides extensive testimonies and quotes from North Koreans. It represents the culmination of seven years of research and draws heavily on interviews and consultations with over 80 North Korean defectors.