A ministry which tracks persecution of Christians worldwide said two Christians have died recently in North Korea. One Christian was recently shot while he was on his way back to Bible training in China, while another died in one of country's labor camps.
Santa Ana, Calif-based Open Doors says the first Christian, who had left North Korea to work in China, and had made several trips there, had recently become a Christian while in China after receiving Bible studies from an Open Doors worker.
"He was very excited about his new faith and wanted to share the gospel with his family," says an Open Doors worker. "He wanted to come back to China to study the Bible more so he could explain the Christian faith better to his family. It is heartbreaking that he was killed. I cannot stop thinking: 'If only he had arrived a little later at the border river, the guard would not have seen and shot him. He could still be alive today.'"
Another Christian, who also studied the Bible, recently died in a labor camp, the organization reports.
He also returned to China. When North Korean authorities found out about his secret faith, he was sent to prison, according to the persecution watchdog.
"We just received an update that he was dead," says the Open Doors worker. "He was terribly tortured because of his faith. He was also forced to do heavy labor while hardly receiving any food. Before his return to North Korea, he was baptized and willing to deal with the all the hardships he had to face. We never tell people to go back to North Korea, but he was happy to. We are devastated to hear about these murders. We know Christians die for their faith almost every day in North Korea, but it is still hard to deal with."
Open Doors recently released its 2013 World Watch List which ranked North Korea for the 11th consecutive year as the worst country in terms of Christian persecution.