North Korean Defector Says Cousin’s Entire Family Executed For Sharing The Gospel

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“It was my cousin’s family, they were all executed for sharing the Gospel.”

Three leaders of the church who were responsible for spreading gospel in North Korea were also sent to the notorious political prison camps.

North Korean defector Illyong Ju speaks with the press at the U.S. State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, D.C. on July 17, 2019. | The Christian Post
North Korean defector Illyong Ju speaks with the press at the U.S. State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, D.C. on July 17, 2019. | The Christian Post

At the State Department’s religious freedom ministerial last week, a North Korean defector shared what it’s like to live as a Christian in North Korea, telling United States President Donald Trump and the State Department’s religious freedom ministerial about the execution of his cousin’s family for sharing the Gospel.

Illyong Ju was one of the nearly 30 survivors of religious persecution who met with the president at the White House last Wednesday. They got to share their testimonies and stories at the government-sponsored annual event.

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Ju’s parents decided to defect to South Korea in order for them to freely practice their belief. For a period of several years in the 2000s, one by one, his family members were able to escape the totalitarian state and settle in Seoul.

Ju’s father fled to South Korea in the mid-2000s. About a year later in 2008, Ju and his mother and sister fled together. They joined their father in South Korea in 2009 after a long journey. The family settled in Seoul and in 2012, Ju’s oldest sister joined them and completed their family’s reunification.

His Christian relatives, on the other hand, were not as fortunate. His aunt’s entire family was thrown into a political prison camp just because her aunt’s father-in-law was a Christian.

“It was my cousin’s family, they were all executed for sharing the Gospel,” Ju added.

Three leaders of the church who were responsible for spreading gospel in North Korea were also sent to the notorious political prison camps.

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Despite being imprisoned and tortured for their faith, Ju said Christian activities are still happening inside prison camps. His defector coworker once told him how she kept her faith going and evangelized several others when she was imprisoned in North Korea.

North Korea is the most dangerous country in the world for Christians. According to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, North Korea has topped the list as the worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, a position it has maintained for 18 years.

North Korea’s Christianity Growing Amid Persecution

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