Page 3 - Persecution Trends 2023
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   Military parades help to fuel a nationalistic spirit in North Korea
Pressure continues to mount on Christians from Hindu extremist groups who appear increasingly emboldened by the dominance of the nation’s right-wing Hindu Government.
restriction measures on text messages containing Christian content.
North Korean citizens (particularly those in provinces that border China) are becoming increasingly exposed to foreign influence through illegal trade connections and smuggled media devices.
Owing to the spread of coronavirus
in North Korea, Beijing is beginning to crack down on defectors illegally residing in China and shows signs of sending them back over the border, where they are generally interrogated over whether they have attended church, interacted with missionaries or received Bibles.
Reports of violent attacks on pastors and other Christians continued throughout the past year, as did the progress of anti-conversion laws. In September Karnataka became the latest state to introduce a ‘conversion’ law. While it is claimed they legislate against forced conversion, in practice they often open the door to legal opposition to gospel ministry.
‘Due to this, the North Korean Government continues to be concerned about foreign powers interfering in North Korean society,’ said Dr Eric Foley, CEO of our associate ministry Voice of the Martyrs Korea.
• For North Koreans who have heard the gospel in China and are being forcibly repatriated to keep the faith and be a faithful witness in North Korea.
In order to combat foreign influence, Pyongyang invests in developing events and media that fuel a
• Pray for defectors who continue to minister to other North Koreans in China; that God would continue to provide for their needs and for the needs of defector believers in South Korea.
The actions of various Hindu nationalist groups appear to have increased since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014. The National Solidarity Forum and Evangelical Fellowship of India noted around 500 reported attacks on Christians in 2021, with about 200 recorded in the first five months of 2022. Sadly many fear that trend
could continue into 2023. Release International partners are becomingly increasingly aware of long-term serious medical needs among those who have been badly beaten. They also highlight a growing need for Bibles, particularly in rural areas.
The state continues to educate the public on the ‘dangers’ of clergy, missionaries and Bibles
nationalistic spirit yet still appeal to the changing tastes of the masses. Because Christianity is viewed through the lens of history as a tool which Western powers have used to colonise other countries, the state continues to educate the public on the ‘dangers’ of clergy, missionaries and Bibles.
‘Thank you for praying for and supporting North Korean underground Christians. Please be encouraged to know that they are praying for you, too,’ said Dr Foley.
Due to increasing apprehension toward unregulated Christianity on the part of the Chinese Government as well, North Korean defector believers living in China are facing increased persecution and regulation. Beijing has implemented surveillance and
• For protection for Christians, especially pastors and church leaders, and courage to persevere in an increasingly hostile environment.
• For an end to conversion laws.

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