Monday, 16 January 2012

North Korea Religious Freedom Petition

Religious freedom petition to be handed to North Korean embassy

A petition calling for religious freedom is to be presented to the North Korean embassy in London later this month.

The Release International petition has amassed 48,000 signatures and is a response to the dire human rights situation in North Korea, where Christianity is banned and Christians face torture, imprisonment and even death for their faith.

Release chief executive Andy Dipper said: “Under this notoriously repressive regime Christians are among those held in prison camps, which have been likened to concentration camps. They are held there simply because of their religious beliefs.

“Thousands more live out their faith in secret to avoid detection by the authorities.”

The petition will be presented to the North Korean embassy at the end of a staged funeral procession and prayer vigil taking place on January 20.

The procession symbolises the death of freedom in North Korea under the previous leadership.

Mr Dipper continued: “Our hope is that the change in leadership following the death of Kim Jong-il will lead to greater freedom of religion and that the persecution of Christians will end.”

A copy of the petition will also be presented to Downing Street in the hope that the British Government will press for religious freedom in the closed-off country.

The day of action is the culmination of Release International’s yearlong One Day campaign calling for an end to oppression in North Korea.

It has produced a DVD, No Other God, which features the personal accounts of refugees who have escaped the country.

Mr Dipper said: “Please pray that the North Korean authorities will respond positively to the petition and understand that Christians are not a threat to their nation.

“Pray that Pyongyang, the capital, will once more be known as the 'Jerusalem of the East'.

“And please pray that believers will be free to worship Christ openly and without fear of persecution and that, One Day, revival will come to the 'Hermit Kingdom'.

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