Demonstrations, rallies, congressional hearings and prayers will mark the anniversary of North Korea Freedom Day in Washington, D.C. to loudly draw attention to the atrocities millions suffer in North Korea.
North Korea Freedom Week, set for Apr. 22-30, is expected to draw thousands of human rights activists, religious leaders and students for DC's second international gathering on North Korean human rights.
"This is a week where we can unite to address the atrocities taking place in North Korea," said Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, in a released statement. "My heart breaks when I hear the stories of brutality and persecution coming out of North Korea. We must do all we can to raise awareness of what is happening there - that is what North Korea Freedom Week is all about."
Open Doors USA is partnering with North Korea Freedom Coalition members for the weeklong events.
North Korea was ranked as the worst Christian persecutor for the fourth straight year in the recently released Open Doors World Watch List and, according to Moeller, is the "most repressive nation in the world" with more defectors attesting to the unimproved human rights situation.
One defector who was imprisoned in North Korea at the age of 10 stated, "At the camp, I witnessed public executions, forced labor and other inhumane atrocities. New prisoners in the North Korean political prison camps are taught not to consider themselves as human beings. The prisoners cannot complain of beatings or even murders," according to Open Doors.
More reports speaking of abuses and lack of religious freedom in the repressive country were revealed in a landmark study - Thank you, Father Kim Il Sung - released in November by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The upcoming freedom week urges support for the implementation of the North Korean Human Rights Act, which has done little so far to change the situation in the communist nation, and above all, calls for prayers.
"Open Doors USA is focusing on raising prayers across the United States for those suffering for their faith," said Moeller. "Get involved and get your church or group involved. Those with no rights or freedom are counting on you. Don't let them down!"
North Korea Freedom Week follows thousands of wailing prayers that were said at the largest international gathering of church leaders in Seoul, South Korea, early March.
For a schedule of North Korea Freedom Week events, visit www.nkfreedom.org