December 07, 2023

True believers: Faith-based NGOs in North Korea

As long as they avoid evangelism, the DPRK's religious NGOs have considerable room to work

North Korea is known for its government's lack of tolerance towards religion. Defectors have described the torture and execution of Christians, and the UN reports that North Koreans repatriated from China face harsher punishments if they are known to have interacted with Christians.

Some scholars and observers draw parallels between the Kim regime’s cult of personality and religion, ranging from assertions that Kim Il Sung borrowed aspects of Christianity to remarks comparing the level of devotion North Koreans hold for the Kims to deep religious reverence.