Christian World Mission reports that three church leaders in the Pyongan province of North Korea have been executed.
The Christian ministers, from secret underground churches, were killed by authorities in Pyungsung county in the Pyongan province. Another 20 Christians were reportedly sent to hard labour camps.
Religion is completely outlawed in North Korea and citizens are expected to worship only their leader, Kim Jong-il [photo at left] and his late father and predecessor, Kim il-sung.
Open Doors - an organisation that supports persecuted Christians around the world - has said that the country is the worst in the world for persecuting Christians.
The country’s estimated 400,000 Christians are forced to worship behind closed doors. They face imprisonment, torture or public execution if the authorities discover their faith.
400,000 Christians in a country that is supposed to be one of the most atheistic in the world. (If that's the word you can use about a place that worships a man.) This is an extraordinary figure, and shows how Christianity persists even in the face of the most violent persecution.