50,000~70,000 North Korean Christians Detained in Gulags

“200,000 Christians estimated to be residing in North Korea”
Kim So Young, Reporter  |  2006-08-16 17:13
▲ Open Doors International, Director Paul Estabrooks ⓒRFA
An international missionary organization ‘Open Doors International’ asserted that of 200,000 Christians residing in North Korea, 50,000~70,000 believers are being detained in gulags.

‘Open Doors International’ is an organization known for ministering to communist countries. In an interview with ‘Radio Free Asia’ (RFA) on the 14th, Director Estabrooks revealed “Although 200,000 Christians in North Korea may seem like an exaggerated number, in actual this figure does not even amount to 1% of North Korea’s population.”

He added “In comparison to when Pyongyang was considered the ‘Jerusalem of the East’ this figure is excessively low.”

Director Estabrooks spoke of his recently published book “Escape from North Korea: A Desperate Quest for Food, Love and Life” which chronicles the real life of a North Korean defector.

He said “The book begins with a man named Kim and recounts his life experiences in North Korea, Chosun and China. From 1996, Kim secretly crosses the boarder to China on three difference occasions and while doing so becomes a Christian. It is in essence a story about a family who leaves North Korea.”

Further he revealed “The road from North Korea to China and from China to South Korea is difficult and Kim receives much assistance from the Chosun Christians in China. In actual there is a great number of Christians in China quietly giving assistance to defectors.”

Open Doors International began its ministry in 1955 during the Cold War era where bibles were distributed to communist countries such as the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China. Last March, the organization announced the world’s top 50 countries under persecution, with North Korea maintaining the lead for the past 4 years.
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