A group of Christians in North Korea was sent to a remote village to work in a labor camp as a punishment for possessing a Bible, said a report from rights group International Christian Concern.
The report quoted a Christian named Bae (not her real name) who was reportedly forced to live in exile for possessing a Bible and for refusing to renounce her faith.
Bae and her companions would work in the field during the day, but by night they would “cover the windows with blankets, light a small candle, and sit in a tight circle before getting out a book to read.”
The report said that Bae turned down invitations to flee to China and continued to serve her underground church.
In a letter she sent to a Church group in China, Bae said “because we are Christians, we were exiled to a remote village with no chance of ever leaving.”
“Work here is hard. Rations are limited. We are always hungry or sick,” the ICC report quoted the letter.
“We need to forage to survive. But every morning when I open my eyes, I feel the presence of the Lord and thank our father God that I am still strong enough to be used as His servant,” wrote Bae.
She said she “recently was able to cross the border into China.”
“There I met with other Christians. They gave me food, medicine and – by the grace of God – a new Bible,” wrote Bae.
“I was offered a place to stay in China. It would have meant freedom. But I could not abandon my family and church however small it may be,” she said.
“[O]ur suffering must appear as though we live a cursed life. However, we see it as a blessing because it is a shortcut to the father,” added Bae in her letter.