There are currently 50,000 to 70,000 Korean Christians suffering in prison camps, and one former inmate is sharing the heartbreaking and horrifying realities they face.

According to an article published by Open Doors USA, any person in Korea, North or South, whose faith in Jesus is exposed face torture, labour camps, or execution. 

Christians caught and accused of their faith are often simply sentenced to a life of hard labour until they die. 

While it's rare, some people have escaped from this living hell. 

Hea-woo* survived the deplorable living conditions and torture in a re-education camp, the second level of prisons. Once arrested, people are often sent to detention centres first for interrogation. After that, prisoners are then sent to either a re-education camp or a political labour camp which no one comes back from.

"Every day was like torture," says Hea-woo. "People were dying and their corpses were burnt. The guards scattered the ashes over the road. We walked that road every day and each time I thought: One day, the other prisoners will walk over me."

Thankfully she managed to escape the North Korean prison camp, which is how she was able to share what a typical day at the camp was like.

5.30 am: Roll call in the barracks. “We lined up with our heads bowed until we were all accounted for. Then there was some time to wash ourselves.”

6 am: Breakfast. "We [lined] up again and slowly moved through the barracks where the food was distributed. This took a lot of time. We got only a small cup full of rice. Maybe about two or three spoons in total."

8 am: Work. "We marched outside the camp, to the countryside, where we had to do agricultural work until lunchtime. There was no break. Prisoners have no right to rest."

12 noon: Lunch. "About the same amount of food as during breakfast and dinner."

2 pm: Back to work.

6 pm: Criticism session. "We had to criticize each other and ourselves about the things we did wrong that day. After that, dinner."

8 pm: Ideological training. "The hardest part of the day. We were hungry and weary. Our eyes fell closed. But we had to stay awake and pay attention or we would be punished."

9.30 pm: Counting of the prisoners.

10 pm: Go to bed.

On February 5, 2021, Open Doors USA released the names of five Christian missionaries who have been in North Korean prison camps for years, encouraging people to pray for them by name. 

Kim Jong-Wook was arrested in 2013 and sentenced to a life of hard labour in 2014. 

Kim Kook-Kie and Choi Chun-Kil were arrested in the Chinese border city of Dandong. They were sentenced to a life of hard labour in 2015.

Ko Hyon-Chol was arrested and sentenced to a life of hard labour in 2016.

Kim Won-Ho was a North Korean defector and missionary who was abducted in China in 2016. 

North Korea has been No. 1 on the World Watch List according to Open Doors for the worst place for Christian persecution in the world and has been for 20 years. 

The short video below shows the cruelty many prisoners face after being sentenced to a prison camp in North Korea. (Some content may be hard for certain viewers to hear or see)