North Korea Crushed Christians Under Steamroller, Hung Them on Crosses Above Fire, New Report Says

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to the Kosan Combined Fruit Farm in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to the Kosan Combined Fruit Farm in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang. (KCNA via REUTERS)

North Korea has crushed Christians under a steam roller, hung them on crosses above raging fires, herded them off bridges and other devastating forms of torture, according to a report.  

Christian Solidarity Worldwide issued the report earlier this month to call action against the Communist state, which is the top persecutor of Christians worldwide, according to Open Doors.  

The horrifying report reads: 

Christians usually practice their faith in secret. If discovered, they are subject to detention and then likely taken to political prison camps (kwanliso); crimes against them in these camps include extra-judicial killing, extermination, enslavement/forced labor, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance, rape and sexual violence and other inhumane acts. Documented incidents against Christians include being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled underfoot. A policy of guilt by association applies, meaning that the relatives of Christians are also detained regardless of whether they share the Christian belief. Even North Koreans who have escaped to China, and who are or become Christians, are often repatriated and subsequently imprisoned in a political prison camp. 

Open Doors reports 50,000-70,000 Christians are in North Korean labor camps that hearken back to the Holocaust.  

To halt the abuse and torture, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, who released the report, asks the world to step up.  

Specifically, they are calling on the United Nations to intervene:

  • Hold regular briefings on the human rights situation in the DPRK with the participation of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other relevant experts
  • Ensure that human rights are central in any dialogue or negotiations, whether bilateral or multilateral, between the DPRK and any Member State 
  • Call for the adoption of a Security Council resolution addressing human rights and impunity in the DPRK 
  • Support the referral of the human rights situation in the DPRK to the ICC, based on the United Nations Commission of Inquiry's finding that crimes against humanity are being perpetrated 
  • Investigate the possibility of creating an ad hoc tribunal of international lawyers and judges, past or present, to assess the evidence given to them and to maintain accountability regarding the crimes against humanity that are occurring in the DPRK
  • Support the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in their mandate, look to expand their capacity and ensure their continued independence, sufficient resources and security are maintained
  • Establish a human rights contact group on North Korea

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