Keeping the faith in North Korea

Saturday, October 27, 2012
Charlie Butts (

A new book authored by Eric Foley of Seoul USA chronicles three generations of one family who kept the faith in spite of North Korea's hostile and deadly approach to Christianity among its citizens.

The book is titled These are the Generations -- and it starts with the Bae family [not the family's real name] beginning with the inception of the North Korean state. In the 1960's Christianity was purged from the country and believers were executed, Bibles were burned and churches torn down.

A remnant, representing about 100,000 people, still exists in a very underground church.

Foley of the Colorado Spring-based group Seoul USA was able to interview Mr. Bae about his grandfather, mother and he and his wife raising their own children very quietly as Christians. Foley recounts the story of Bae spending a year in prison after a co-worker observed that Bae and his wife had a successful marriage while the co-worker did not.

"Mr. Bae said, 'Well we have 10 rules in our house,' and he explained the 10 Commandments. The friend shared that with his wife, and the wife reported Mr. Bae to the authorities," Foley says. "The next thing Mr. Bae knew he was put in prison and experienced just terrible physical punishments even while he was being investigated."

Prison conditions are deplorable and most people do not survive prison. He was finally released and eventually escaped the country. Even today, Mr. Bae's parents remain in North Korea where they are held in a concentration camp for their evangelistic activities.

The book provides an inside look at Christianity in North Korea that the outside world never sees and a close look at the state religion, which involves worshipping the countries leaders. The book is available on

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details
More Christians imprisoned in Iran

The condition of an imprisoned pastor in Iran has worsened since he was given a five-year prison term for converting from Islam to Christianity -- which Iranian authorities claim to be a crime against national security.