North Korean Christians Arrested–status unknown

Voice of the Martyrs is reporting that a number of people that the government of North Korea had arrested in September for spying are in fact Christians.

The security service spokesman at the press conference, Li Su Gil, said that those arrested “carried out the missions by means of diverse espionage equipment.” He did not name any of those arrested.

VOM has identified the following North Korean Christians who have disappeared and are believed to have been arrested by government authorities:

Onseong, North Hamgyong Province:

Chul Huh, male

Chun-Il Jang, male, 39

Young-Su Jin, male, 32

Myung-Chul Kim, male, 36

Nam-Suk Kang, male, 48

Young-Yae Lee, female, 37

Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province:

San-Ho Kang, male, 36

Cheongjin, North Hamgyong Province:

Mi-Hae Park, female, 30

Suk-Chun Suh, male, 29

These North Korean Christians had started a portrait photography studio to help support themselves, and had registered their businesses with appropriate government authorities. According to VOM sources working in North Korea, they were not involved in espionage activities. It is believed that equipment taken by the government was in fact photography equipment used in their portrait work.

“Following Jesus Christ is considered treason in North Korea, where the government mandates that worship is reserved for deceased dictator Kim Il Sung and his son, the current dictator, Kim Jong Il,” said Todd Nettleton, spokesperson for VOM. “The Voice of the Martyrs is proud to stand with Christ’s followers in North Korea, and deeply concerned for the well-being of our brothers and sisters there. We call on the North Korean government to release these Christian believers, who were involved in legitimate business activities to support themselves and their families.”

VOM sources do not know the whereabouts of the arrested believers. It is possible that they have already been tried and executed.

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