Christian women are acting as “agents of resistance” against the Communist regime in North Korea, according to a human rights organisation.
Korea Future launched its latest report, “Religious Women as Beacons of Resistance in North Korea”, on Thursday.
Using their membership of underground churches, Christian women are spreading the faith and challenging the regime, the report found.
Through their networks on the margins of society, women who convert to Christianity “challenge the authority of the state’s control over women’s bodies and minds and empower other religious women to become agents of resistance”, it says.
One witness interviewed for the report said: “The underground church members in North Korea were believers who had converted in China.
“They already knew about Christianity, including hymns and the Bible.
“Most members were women who had been trafficked and sold into forced marriages with Chinese men and later escaped.”
Korea Future investigators interviewed 237 survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of religious persecution who fled the Marxist dictatorship into democratic South Korea.
They documented 140 cases of Christian women being imprisoned, 33 of torture, 11 of “refoulement” (Christian women being forcibly returned from China to North Korea), five of forced labour, and one case of sexual violence.
Christian women who are arrested experience “more egregious” violations of their human rights than followers of fortune-telling cult Shamanism, the report found.
The regime imprisons Christians in the more brutal “political camps” but tends to send the followers of other religions to less severe labour camps.
The report says “the absolute denial” of the right to religious freedom forces many Christian women across the North Korean border into China.
Read it all in Christian Today