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On Religious Persecution And Human Rights Violations In North Korea

WHEREAS, All individuals are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and therefore deserve to have their physical, emotional, and spiritual integrity respected; and

WHEREAS, God’s people should be committed to break the chains of wickedness, untie the ropes of the yoke, set the oppressed free, tear off every yoke, and care for the prisoner and the mistreated (Isaiah 58:6; Matthew 25:36; Hebrews 13:3); and

WHEREAS, The human rights situation for millions of people in North Korea since the succession of the new leader Kim Jong Un on December 17, 2011, remains among the most severe in the world; and

WHEREAS, in 2014 the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea determined that crimes against humanity were taking place in that country, including “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation”; and

WHEREAS, Followers of Jesus Christ and adherents to any faith other than the state-sanctioned cult of personality revolving around the Kim family face extreme persecution against themselves and their family members; and

WHEREAS, Despite the fact that an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 Christians in North Korea remain at grave risk of persecution, underground churches continue to minister to and help North Koreans escape to third country safe havens like the United States and South Korea; and

WHEREAS, The United States Congress passed the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, reauthorized in 2008 and 2012, to alleviate the suffering of North Koreans in and outside of the country, provide information of the outside world into North Korea, and to promote human rights, democracy, and market economy in North Korea; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Columbus, Ohio, June 16–17, 2015, appeal to Kim Jong Un and the government of North Korea to respect and ensure human rights for all individuals as obligated both by biblical teaching and the international covenants to which it is a State Party, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge President Barack Obama and both houses of the US Congress to do all they can to pressure the government of North Korea to respect the dignity and religious freedom of all its citizens; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we renew our call to Southern Baptists and all our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray that God will turn the heart of Kim Jong Un to Himself and that President Kim might grant to all the people of North Korea the respect they deserve as God’s creation (Proverbs 21:1).