North Korea Torture: Perpetrator of Torture in North Korea Repents

Evidences: Articles - North Korea Torturer repents

From torturer to tears: A prison warden repents
Voice of the Martyrs story highlights transformation from tyrant to believer
November 02, 2006


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom repeatedly has recommended that the U.S. Department of State list North Korea as among its "countries of particular concern" for its "egregious and systematic human rights violations" including policies that disallow any Christian faith.

So one can imagine how startled a Christian couple was when a commander from a detention camp set up for those who cannot eliminate their faith in Christ appeared in front of their house and knocked on their door.

The report of the startling transformation of the guard, from tyrant and torturer to tearful repentant, comes from The Voice of the Martyrs, a worldwide ministry that directs its aid to members of the persecuted Christian church.

Although accurate reports are difficult to obtain, often because no witnesses to atrocities are left alive to tell, officials believe tens of thousands of Christians currently are suffering in North Korean prison camps for the offense of having a Christian faith.

The events developed shortly after a Christian teen died in a prison camp after being deprived of food but unwilling to recant his belief in Christ, the VOM report said.

A Christian couple found themselves sentenced to the same camp, with the same prospects for extended lives as the faithful Christian teen who died before his 20th birthday. However, "they were there only a few days when the camp's top officer, 'Rhee,' ordered their release," VOM reported.

A few days later, they heard the knocking at their door.

"It was Rhee. He wanted to talk to them further. 'I have tortured and killed many people,' he told them, 'but since the death of this young man I have been troubled,'" said the VOM report, written by P. Todd Nettleton. Rhee also told them the story of the teen's courage and cheerful attitude, even as his body was failing.

They told the prison warden why the teen, code-named "Pencil" before he was dispatched into North Korea to spread the Gospel of Jesus, was different. They introduced him to Jesus.

"When they finished sharing and praying together, Rhee invited them to come home with him," the report said. "Inside Rhee's large home, eight family members were gathered as well as several other soldiers who worked at the camp and their families."

The report said the families listened as the couple presented the story of Jesus, his death on the cross and his resurrection.

"Rhee was shocked when his own mother stepped forward and said for 50 years she had been a secret Christian. 'I am no longer ashamed of my faith,' she said, then turned to the rest of the people gathered in the room. 'Who wants to have Jesus in their heart?'" the report said.

All hands were raised and a baptismal service followed immediately, VOM reported.