Reports revealed that photos of North Korea’s crowded Christian churches are actually just for show.

In the photos, people in traditional Korean clothing filled the pews of a church in Pyongyang and prayed. Bibles were available in the church and a choir sang hymns during service.

Tagged as the world’s worst country to be a Christian, North Korea has gone to great lengths to cover its horrifying treatment of Christians.

It looked like North Korea was showing the world its citizens enjoy religious freedom, but the reality is that the photos represent one of the hermit country’s bizarre ‘show churches.’ The worshippers in the pictures were actually actors who were paid to pretend to be churchgoers in front of foreign visitors, reports Express.co.uk.

The photos are circulated in the hopes of improving North Korea’s human rights records. Tagged as the world’s worst country to be a Christian, North Korea has gone to great lengths to cover its horrifying treatment of Christians.

“There is no religious freedom in North Korea. People are simply killed if they believe in Jesus,” Joo-Eun said. “Yes, there are church services in North Korea, but only when foreigners are present. The state calls up some locals to be present.”

According to an unofficial record, 300,000 Christians are thought to be living in North Korea. Since citizens are forced to honor their Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un as a god, Christians have been devising clever ways on how to practice their faith.

Most Christians in North Korea worship in secret, say messages with hidden prayers, while some meet in public as if they’re strangers and whisper prayers.

Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors disclosed that there are only four church buildings in Pyongyang.

“Defectors testify that these churches serve as show pieces for foreign visitors in an attempt to prove that there is religious freedom in North Korea,” a spokesperson said.

North Korean defector Joo-Eun revealed that the photos don’t represent how Koreans worship in the country. He said religious people, especially Christians, are given the worst treatment, sometimes death, when found.

“There is no religious freedom in North Korea. People are simply killed if they believe in Jesus,” Joo-Eun said. “Yes, there are church services in North Korea, but only when foreigners are present. The state calls up some locals to be present.”

Sources:
Express.co.uk
The Global Dispatch

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Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.