Religion and Atheism in North Korea

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Under the militant state atheism of North Korea, Christians and other religious people are persecuted more than in any other states. The situation in North Korea can be only compared with the persecution by Enver Hoxha or Pol Pot



In 1907 Pyongyang was called the "Jerusalem of Asia" and could live peaceful with Buddhists and Confucianists. In 1910 the Japenese emporor attacked the Korean peninsula. Christians who did not bowed down to his portrait were tortured, imprisoned and/or executed.[1] After the Second World War the dictator Kim Il Sung came in power who is often treated by the North Koreans like a god. The government mandates belief in the Juche-ideology. Every competing religion is forbidden. The Christians pray in the underground and if they are caught, they are imprisoned. This prison is comparable with the labor camps in Nazi Germany where the prisoners were treated like slaves.[2] In 2009, a North Korean Christian woman was executed for distributing Bibles.[3] Today there are three churches in North Korea but they are not used to exercise the religion, but they serve as a tourist attraction.[4]

The ca.10 000 Buddhists are more tolerated as Christians, but they do not practice their religion openly. [5]

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