It's been one year since the leadership mantle in North Korea
was passed from Kim Jong Il to his son, Kim Jong Un, but there have
been no significant changes.
from limited agricultural reforms, allowing women to wear pants in
public, and a love for Mickey Mouse, Open Doors
USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra reports that North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un has spent much of his time building his image and
tightening security, which was already rigidly tight.
"There's still tremendous persecution, including against
Christians," Dykstra tells OneNewsNow. "It's been number one on Open Doors' World Watch List for
ten straight years. Religious freedom, which there is none for
Christians, continues; Christians -- estimated to be between
200,000 and 400,000 -- still live in horrific conditions. Many of
them are in prison. In fact, Open Doors estimates in gulags as
50,000 to 70,000."
The new regime has sent more spies into China, which has become
a refuge for many North Korean Christians who have escaped their
home country. The government's aim is to locate those refugees and
return them to North Korea, where they are certain to be sent to
prison, where most of them die.
"We need to keep the pressure on them as far as human rights and
the lack thereof, and we need, of course, to pray during this
Christmas season," the Open Doors spokesman contends. "As one
Christian told one of our workers there … 'we can only celebrate
Christmas in our hearts.' They cannot celebrate outwardly in their
homes or in meeting places."
Open Doors is hearing from Christians inside the
country who are very thankful for what Christians in the West
are doing. But they ask that the prayer effort continues. They are
also listening to Christian radio programs, although that practice