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North Korean Defector Says Christianity Grows Amid Extreme Persecution and Cruelty

A defector from North Korea said Christianity is growing in the country despite the government’s brutal efforts to suppress it.
Kim Chung-seong, a North Korean defector and a Christian missionary, adjusts a microphone during a radio broadcast at a radio station in Seoul, South Korea, April 21, 2016. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

A defector from North Korea said Christianity is growing in the country despite the government's brutal efforts to suppress it.

Kim Chung-seong, who spoke at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians held on May 11 to 12 in Washington, D.C., said the government fears the spread of the gospel.

"The one thing that the North Korean regime fears the most, and is afraid of, is the spreading of the Gospel," he said, according to the Catholic News Agency. "Because the Bible and the Gospel speaks the truth. Once the light shines in the dark room, there is light in the room."

"They [the government] will do anything to prevent the spread of the Gospel in North Korea," he said, adding that the government even set up a "façade" organization called the Korea Christian Association to lure the believers.

"But] as you can see, we cannot block the sunlight with our hand," he said.

The Christian missionary, who made it to South Korea in 2004 after a long and arduous journey that deserves a story of its own, now hosts a Christian radio program. The show, under the Far East Broadcasting Company, targets North Korean audience with the gospel message and gospel music.

Many people are being set free by listening to his radio program. Ko Ji-eun, also a defector, said she listened to it while hiding in China. When she made it to South Korea in 2015, she met another defector who listened to the show in North Korea, where owning a radio that can be tuned to channels other than the state channels is illegal.

"North Koreans are now using Chinese earphones not to expose themselves to authorities," Ko told Reuters. "Many people inside North Korea are listening to this radio a lot."

Kim hopes that Kim Jong-un's regime will be toppled.

"He has to go otherwise North Korea will never be free," he told Mirror. "I hope one day the North and South will be reunited as one to live in peace as Germany once did. I pray to see it in my lifetime."

At the summit, Kim asked believers worldwide to pray that North Korean Christians would be able to spread the gospel even more and that religious freedom would be upheld in North Korea.

"It is my prayer that all the international Christian communities will pray for those North Korean Christians to really help and engage them to spread the Gospel, not only through the works of the underground Church network, but also through the government and request for this religious freedom that they are earnestly praying for," he said, according to CNA. 

Tags : North Korea, North Korea defector, North Korea Christians, North Korea persecution, Christian persecution, World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, Gospel, Far East Broadcasting Company, Christianity, growth of Christianity in North Korea, North Korea Christianity