Pastor reveals why children of Christians in North Korea grow up without learning about their parents' faith

(Wikimedia Commons/J.A. de Roo)The statues of Kim Il Sung (left) and Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea.

A North Korean pastor, who is now living in China, has revealed that children of Christians in the Communist regime are growing up without knowing about Christianity because their parents are forced to hide their faith for fear of what the authorities will do to their family if they are discovered.

In an interview with persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA, Pastor Lee Joo-Chan recounted that he grew up without knowing that his parents were Christians.

"I knew my parents were different. Everybody called them 'Communist parents,' because they took care of the sick, the poor and the needy. At night, they read from a secret book, which I wasn't allowed to read from," he narrated.

"But I heard them whisper the words, and I knew it was their source of wisdom. I also knew that if I ever talked about this to someone else, our family would be taken away," he continued.

Lee explained that his mother was only able to tell him about Christianity after he escaped from North Korea in the 90s and met with her in China.

She recounted how the family have been trying to practice their faith for decades and told him that she had prayed for him and the oppressed people.

Lee's mother eventually headed back to North Korea with her other son, but they were ambushed by soldiers. Lee had witnessed how the soldiers killed his mother and brother, and he later found out that his father and other siblings were also arrested and killed.

He eventually reached South Korea, where he fulfilled his mother's wish by following Jesus and becoming a pastor.

North Korea, which has been ranked by Open Doors as the worst place in the world for Christians, has been subjecting its citizens to severe indoctrination through television, radio channels, newspapers and loudspeakers.

Children are taught that Christians are "evil spies" who kidnap, torture and kill North Korean children, and sell their blood and organs.

Sharing the Gospel with children is extremely risky as they can accidentally sing a hymn or tell a particular Bible story to their friends.

Tens of thousands of children have reportedly become homeless because their families have died or were arrested.

It is often thought that the Communist regime is godless, but it actually promotes the worship of Kim Jong Un as a god and an entire religion has been built around idolizing the Kim dynasty.

The Juche religion was reportedly introduced by Kim's grandfather Kim il-Sung as a sort of imitation of Christianity.

"He set himself up as God. His son, Kim Jong Il, is the Jesus figure. And Juche, their philosophy, as the Holy Spirit," Suzanne Scholte of the Defense Forum Foundation explained.

Scholte expressed her belief that the Gospel can help the North Koreans break free from Kim's regime because its message undermines the dictator's supposed God-like authority.

"The power of the Christian message: that's the way to break down the ideological stranglehold of that regime –because it is an evil place," she said.

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