A life of hard labour: A pastor’s sentence
Lim Hyeun-soo, a Korean-Canadian pastor from Toronto, has been sentenced to a life of hard labour for numerous charges – including attempting to overthrow the government and establish a religious state in North Korea.
“Pastors like Lim, who have seen so much of how North Korea treats its prisoners, cannot easily be released,” said an Open Doors field worker. “I don’t see Lim returning home anytime soon.”
Pastor Lim, aged 60, has travelled to North Korea over 100 times to do humanitarian work. Though he was not involved in the country’s underground churches, the harsh sentencing has come after several of months of crackdowns on Christians by the North Korean regime.
“A case like this does outrage the North Korean government,” says the Open Doors field worker. “North Korean believers could be dealt with even more harshly if they are exposed.”
Conditions in the camps
Sources in North Korea have confirmed that, in the recent crackdowns, Christians have been murdered and others have been incarcerated in prisons and labour camps. In both detention facilities, people are starved, tortured and the death rate is extremely high.
“I was locked up for years,” said a North Korean refugee. “I will never forget the prisoners who were too weak to continue their work. The guards would pick them up and put them on an automatic belt that threw them in a large oven while the prisoners were still alive.”
Christianity in North Korea
Christianity is seen as a threat to the North Korean regime: they believe Christians spy for the enemy, meet in secret and, at most, only give lip service to the North Korean government. Such disloyalty deserves severe punishment.
Despite this tragic arrest and others, the church has survived almost 70 years of severe persecution. Between 200,000 and 400,000 Christians still secretly profess their faith.
If you receive the Open Doors Magazine, please look out for some inspiring letters written by North Korean pastors in the next mailing.
For more information about Open Doors and the many Christians who are being persecuted in many countries throughout the world please go to:-
Please join me in praying that our Father God blesses mightily all the Christians who are being persecuted for their faith in Him and to give them the strength to endure all the atrocities perpetrated against them.
In Jesus name