Day 7: Gulags

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Day 7: Gulags

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”82944″ img_size=”large” css=”.vc_custom_1596173987902{margin-bottom: 1em !important;}”][vc_column_text]There is a place on earth that might be as close to hell as any human being will ever find. Auschwitz survivor, Thomas Buergenthal, described North Korea’s gulags “as terrible or even worse” than the Nazi prison camps he experienced during WWII.

The nightmares that take place in North Korean gulags are hard to imagine for the human mind. North Korean defectors have reported to have witnessed new born babies being fed to guard dogs, execution of starving prisoners caught digging up grass to eat, constant brutal rape of female inmates of all ages, forced abortions through injecting motor oil, and endless beatings. Many of the inmates do not even know what they are being accused of. Once a prisoner is sent to a gulag, they are never heard from again.

When someone is arrested and sent to a gulag, they do not go alone. According to North Korean teachings, they are ‘infected’ up to three generations, so entire families are detained, stripped of all their belongings, forcibly split up, and sent away to the gulag.

The International Bar Association War Crimes Committee has reported that North Korea is guilty of war crimes including murder, extermination, enslavement, forcible transfer, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence, persecution, enforced disappearances and other inhumane acts — all but one of the 11 recognized crimes against humanity.

As many as 130,000 people are currently detained in a network of secret gulags that have been discovered by the international community; many for arbitrary crimes such as gossiping about the state or watching South Korean TV shows.

One former inmate that escaped from ‘Camp 16’ where 20,000 prisoners are kept, remembers making prisoners dig their own grave and then stand on the edge while someone came around and hit them in the back of the head with a hammer till their dead bodies fell into the fresh holes which were then covered up by other prisoners. Christians are routinely the primary target for the gulags. They are tortured, with officials instructed “to wipe out the seed of [Christian] reactionaries.”

One former North Korean known as Mr. A reported to the UN about the abuse that his family endured because they converted to Christianity: both of Mr A’s sisters were punished severely for their religious belief and activities.

As a result of the starvation rations and horrendous living conditions, the first sister almost died in prison and only survived after Mr A paid a substantial bribe to free her after three years of confinement. The other sister was labelled a political criminal because it was discovered that she had practiced Christianity in China and had also attempted to flee to South Korea. She was sent to Yodok Camp and was never heard from again.

Through satellite imagery, it is clear that these camps that hold and torture Christians for their faith are growing under the current leader Kim Jong Un. The government is bringing in more prisoners every week. As more North Koreans come to Christ, prayer is desperately needed for their protection. The level of sacrifice required of Christians if they are caught is unimaginable.

Prayer Points:

  • Gulags are hell on earth and represent the darkest part of life without God
  • Anyone who becomes a Christian in North Korea is risking their freedom and could possibly be sent to a gulag if their faith is discovered.
  • Christians need to pray for all of the prisoners in North Korean gulags. The entire system of gulag networks needs to come to an end.

Today’s Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 42:5-7
Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.[/vc_column_text][ultimate_spacer height=”75″][vc_btn title=”<< Back to Daily List” style=”flat” shape=”square” size=”xs” align=”left” link=”|title:North%20Korea%20Prayer%20Guide”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_section]

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