The US government’s International Religious Freedom Commission said in a report that North Korean authorities “are arresting, torturing and killing Christians.” “The destruction of faith communities is the basis of the defense of the ideology that exists to sustain Kim Jong Un’s rule,” said one of the authors of the Suyeon Yoo report.
The latest cases of systematic human rights violations caused by religion in the report date from 2020. The goal seems to be to “remove all traces of Christianity” from society, according to a report released Wednesday.
The followers of Korean shamanism are also falling victim to the brutality of the authorities. In their case, the persecution has intensified under the authority of the current DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, the Commission assessed.
The basis of the defense of ideology
“We have documented severe violations of the rights of shamanists based on directives issued by Kim Jong Un, and note that many types of torture and cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment have affected shamanism as well as Christianity,” the document said.
“The destruction of religious communities is the basis of defending an ideology that exists solely to uphold the rule of Kim Jong Un and the North Korean government,” said Suyeon Yoo, one of the authors of the report, quoted by UPI, during an online discussion.
Campaign “brutally effective”
According to the commission, the campaign to exterminate Christianity in North Korea is “brutally successful.” It is run by the Ministry of State Security with the help of a network of informants, a system of prison camps and executions.
The report documents cases of inhuman treatment of suspects of professing religion, including physical beatings, torture, deprivation of food, water and sleep. They were used during interrogations to extract information, as well as punishments or methods of intimidation.
Main photo source: KCNA