An entire family, including a two-year-old child, were sentenced to life imprisonment after a Bible was discovered in their possession, according to International Religious Freedom Report.
This incident was revealed by the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report 2022, documenting the regime’s crackdown on people having religious beliefs.
According to a document released by a non-governmental organization (NGO), it is estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 North Korean citizens have been imprisoned for ‘being Christians’.
The report claims that among the many sent to prison was a two-year-old who was reportedly sentenced to life after his parents were found in possession of a Bible. The family was arrested for their religious practices and possession of a Bible. The entire family, including a two-year-old, was sentenced to life in a political prison camp in 2009.
Christians who have been imprisoned in these camps have described dire conditions and various forms of physical mistreatment. The report stated that the Ministry of State Security was responsible for 90% of documented human rights abuses against both Shamanic adherents and Christians.
The State Department, citing a report by Korea Future, a non-profit organisation “working to accelerate justice and support accountability” in North Korea, says the North Korean government persecutes individuals who engage in religious practices, possess religious items, have contact with religious persons, or share religious beliefs. Individuals who are persecuted may be arrested, detained, forced to work, tortured, denied a fair trial, deported, denied the right to life, or subjected to sexual violence.
In December 2021, Korea Future released a report that documented the abuse of religious freedom against women in North Korea. The report was based on interviews with 151 Christian women who had experienced abuse. The report found that the most common forms of abuse were arbitrary detention, torture, deportation, forced labor, and sexual violence.