Toddler Jailed in North Korea After Parents Found With Bible
A 2-year-old child was sentenced to life imprisonment in North Korea after the toddler’s parents were found possessing a Bible, according to an International Religious Freedom Report released by the State Department on May 15. The parents were sentenced to death as part of North Korea’s brutal crackdown on Christianity.
There are an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 clandestine Christians in North Korea. Another 50,000 to 70,000 are known Christians held in North Korean prisons for their beliefs.
Religious freedom: Religious freedom is rare in this world. About 3 out of 4 people live in a nation where serious restrictions are placed on the free exercise of religion.
Americans commemorate January 16 as National Religious Freedom Day, since the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was passed on Jan. 16, 1786. Yet some states bar Christians from adopting children if they speak out against homosexual or transgender rights. So religious freedom in America is under attack.
Coming persecution: Jesus Christ prophesied that in the time just before His return, His followers would be persecuted for their beliefs. When His disciples asked for a sign of His coming, He answered: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. … Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:4-5, 9).
When Christ said His followers would be “hated of all nations,” He certainly included America among them. The First Amendment protection Americans have enjoyed for centuries will erode to the point that true believers and many others can be persecuted.
Learn more: Read “What Will Happen to Religious Freedom?”