Remember that some atheists are treating Christians and others deemed “irredeemables” in this manner today, right now, as their co-godless in the West whine that religion is somehow oppressing them:
His first memory is an execution. He walked with his mother to a wheat field, where guards had rounded up several thousand prisoners. The boy crawled between legs to the front row, where he saw guards tying a man to a wooden pole….
The South Korean government estimates there are about 154,000 prisoners in North Korea’s labour camps, while the US state department puts the number as high as 200,000. The biggest is 31 miles long and 25 miles wide, an area larger than the city of Los Angeles. Numbers 15 and 18 have re-education zones where detainees receive remedial instruction in the teachings of Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung, and are sometimes released. The remaining camps are “complete control districts” where “irredeemables” are worked to death.
It’s an incredible story. It is arguably the most horrific situation on the planet today. And yet, none of the “Never Again” crowd appears to give even the slightest damn about what is happening in the Hermit Kingdom; they’re too busy worrying about the persecution inherent in a Christmas greeting.
As for Christians, this is what real persecution looks like. The martyrs of North Korea have stubbornly held to the faith for decades despite it. How many of us could do so? The Cambridge Medieval History reminds us:
In the middle of the third century the Emperor and the Empire learnt to dread this organised force within their midst. The despised “third race” had become indeed a nation within the Empire. The first impulse was to exterminate what seemed to be a source of danger. One well-organised universal persecution followed another. From each Christianity emerged with sadly diminished numbers (for the lapsed were always a larger body than the martyrs), but with spirit unbroken and with organisation intact and usually strengthened.
The Church will always survive. But note that the lapsed always outnumber the martyrs. So when you pray for the persecuted of North Korea, remember both the fallen and the fallen away.