Christian North Koreans, on the whole, experience the worst persecution in the world. They have been number one on Open Doors’ World Watch List (which ranks countries according to the level of Christian persecution present) for the past ten years. North Korea’s former leader, Kim Jong-Il, was known for his injustice, brutality, disregard for human life, hatred, and unpredictability. According to a recent Open Doors press release, the first year of successor Kim Jong-Un’s rule has not improved the plight of North Korea’s people, especially for the estimated 200,000-400,000 Christians living there.Read the rest.
Yet throughout the horrible oppression of North Koreans over the last decade, there has been one secret snapshot of deliverance. An underground railroad, similar to that of America’s antebellum, slave-holding south, has been established. For some, it has brought freedom, ushering them through China to safety. The facilitators within this vast network of safe homes consist mostly of Christ-followers, brave brothers and sisters of ours who are risking it all to help those in need find safety and freedom. And for thousands, this is just what they have found.
Now, North Korean refugees who escaped through the underground railroad are removing the shroud of mystery and secrecy in which North Korea has worked so hard to wrap itself. Simultaneously, and probably most importantly to them, these new refugees are finding ways to get information into North Korea to communicate with their families behind the veil.
All this is discussed in Melanie Kirkpatirck’s new book, Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad. You can find interviews with Kirkpatrick online through FrontPage Magazine and NPR (where you can also read an excerpt from the book). Kirkpatrick’s website also houses a number of interviews and other great information.
Friday, December 07, 2012
Secret Church Blog: