CHRISTIANITY DAILY

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Replaces Christmas with Commemoration of Grandmother's Birthday

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(Photo : (stephan)/Flickr/CC) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un replaced Christmas with his grandmother's birthday, and declared the day a holiday so that people could visit her tomb.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants Christians in his country to celebrate the birth of his grandmother instead of Jesus Christ on Christmas, according to a report by the New York Post.

His grandmother, Kim Jong Suk, known as "Sacred Mother of the Revolution" was reportedly born on December 24 and died 1949.

North Korea has ranked among the top persecutors of Christianity by various religious organizations.

Owning a Bible is punishable by death but can also land a person and his entire family at gruesome labor camps. It is estimated at around 70,000 Christians are being held in prisons for their faith.

"In this country, the very act of owning a Bible is punishable by death. An estimated 25 percent of the Christian population lives in prison camps, comparable to Auschwitz in Poland. The others must keep their faith a secret," said Open Doors.

"Many Christian parents choose to keep their faith a secret from their children, for fear that they might accidentally expose their faith to their neighbors, teachers or government officials."

In July, North Korea banned the import of all products that have markings even vaguely resembling a Cross.

"We've always had to make sure there were no Korean characters on the labels of products that we brought in from China," a source told Radio Free Asia. "Now we have to check again to see that there isn't anything that looks like a cross," he said.

"Some designs on women's clothing can look a lot like a cross, depending on who is looking at it. Cross designs also appear on women's hairpins and hair bands and on men's neckties."

"If customs officers confiscate these products, insisting the shape looks like a cross, we have nowhere to complain," he added.

The 2016 annual report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) named North Korea as one of the "countries of particular concern" (CPC), and called it "one of the worst offending nations, if not the worst offending nation in the world."

The report says that the right to religious freedom is ignored by the North Korean regime, and that it continues to persecute Christians.

"They arrest, torture and even execute those who are secretly engaged in religious activities," USCIRF said.

Tags North Korea Christmas, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korean Kim Jong Suk, North Korean Christian persecution

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