The extreme persecution of North Korea toward Christians is beyond imagination. The country ranked #1 by Opendoors, as the most dangerous place for Christians, puts people in Prison camp when they follow Jesus and give back-breaking labor with intentionally brutal schedules-all in an effort to "break" prisoners. Death from starvation, harsh labor and beatings happen daily.
Hea Woo(not her real name), who lives in South Korea shared her experience in the North Korean prison Camp to Opendoors, "All the inmates were starving. Each person received one handful of rotten corn [and] there was nothing else to eat. We got something watery-it wasn't even a soup. We got those as food for the whole year. Nothing else."
With such treatment, people are obligated to work more than cows or animals. "Because everyone is forced to do labor, people die from malnutrition. People died from accidents while working, too," She added.
According to her, the typical day in a labor camp schedule starts at 5 a.m. by the guards' count of people. Whether it is hot summer or winter they work from 8 a.m. until 7p.m. and in the evening prisoners must take two hours long politics class. If anyone goes against it, he or she is locked up in a small room where people cannot lie down nor stand up straight. Soldiers are allowed to hit the inmates whenever they show disobedience. Hea's husband also died at this prison camp.
Hannah(not her real name) remembers how when their brothers and sisters' faith was discovered, she and her family were isolated from the other prisoners, forced to live in cells where they couldn't stand up or lie down.
"Shortly after we entered the camp, we saw guards force a prisoner to murder a baby. Almost every day, we were all called for interrogation and questions. They'd beat us so harshly. When there was no interrogation, we had to kneel in our cells from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. and not speak," Hannah reflected.
"After my husband saw what they did with the baby and the guards threatened to kill his family, he had to tell them the truth.[He knew it would be worse for all of his family if they found out about his faith later.] After his confession, all four of us were locked up in solitary confinement-a small cage. We didn't receive any food or water and were not able to sleep."
There are nearly 50,000 believers who are currently in prison and 300,000 underground church believers in North Korea according to report from Opendoors. Opendoors requested prayer and support for their safety and release.
Hea's prayer topic is this: "I pray that the idolatry persisting over generations would disappear and that people could repent. I prayed that the prison would break apart as well. I also prayed for the Christians all over the world to pray for us with sincerity."