North Korea once sentenced a toddler to life in a prison camp because the baby’s family had been caught with a copy of the Bible, according to a new report from the U.S. State Department.
While the incident happened in 2009, it was highlighted in the State Department’s Report on International Religious Freedom: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for 2022 published earlier this month.
“The entire family, including a two-year-old child, were given life sentences in political prison camps,” the report reads.
The report, based on the accounts of defectors who fled the brutal regime between 2007 and 2020, also documented the tales of other Christians who have been imprisoned or have faced the death penalty under the reign of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.
Open Doors USA, a non-governmental organization that documents the persecution of Christians worldwide, estimates that there are around 400,000 Christians in North Korea — just 1.5% of the national population — of which an estimated 70,000 are in “horrendous” prison camps.