07:08 GMT17 February 2020
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    The video, which supposedly originated in North Korea, claims the religious leader Cha Deoksun was a spy but does not elaborate, focusing solely on her religious activities.

    The Voice of Martyrs, a US-based nonprofit, published a video which tells the story of the alleged persecution of Christians in North Korea, Fox News reported Tuesday.

    The video is allegedly filmed in North Korea and tells the story of Cha Deoksun, the creator of an “underground” Christian network in the so-called hermit kingdom.

    According to the video, the woman “lost faith” in the North Korean government during the Great Famine of the 1990s, crossing the border into China illegally and finding herself in a city of Shenyang. There she experienced a number of Christian churches, including Dongguan, known as the cradle of Christianity of Koreans in China.

    The video claims Cha joined an organization known as the “Suhtap Church,” according to subtitles provided by VoM. The Fox News report refers to the church as “Seotap,” in the same way that the CEO of the Voice of Martyrs, Eric Foley, does. The correct spelling is Xita Church.

    The voice on the video alleges that the church was formed by the “puppet South Korean government’s secret service,” and that it harbors illegal immigrants from the DPRK and trains them to return to their homeland as spies. The woman, according to the video, was sent back to North Korea with a mission to establish an “underground” Christian network.

    Cha turned herself in and North Korean authorities were “lenient,” according to the video voice-over, allowing her entry.

    According to the video, Cha travelled across the country and met with religious people and the ill. 

    “She bribed them with money and preached her religious doctrines to them,” the video claims, although the voice-over may be referring to charity. 

    She then single-handedly established a wide Christian network, connected to other religious organizations in North Korea, the narrative goes. The video claims Cha organized secret prayers on Sundays, conducted in hiding, “even during busy farming seasons.”

    The video ends with Cha reported to authorities by “conscious” citizens. Her fate is unclear from the video, but Fox News assumes, citing VoM, that Cha was “either executed by firing squad or died in a concentration camp.”

    It is impossible to verify the authenticity of the video, as it bears no official logo or watermark, aside from that of the VoM. The only photo displayed in the video allegedly showing a “secret prayer” has all faces concealed.

    Officially, North Korea is an atheist state. However, at least five churches operate in Pyongyang alone, including one Catholic, three Protestant and one Russian Orthodox Church, the latter consecrated in 2006.


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