A path toward religious freedom in the DPRK

Is it possible?


  • Timo Schmitz




DPRK, North Korea, Juche, leader cult, religious persecution


North Korea is one of the most authoritarian states in the world, and members of religious groups face severe persecution. This article explores how deeply religious persecution is anchored in the state system and how it is handled in practice. It presents a six-point plan to improve the situation of believers short of waiting for a regime change. The plan focuses on strengthening the role of religious organizations in inter-Korean dialogue, international cooperation with religious organizations of the DPRK, encouraging the DPRK in liberalizing religion in its country, while avoiding a foreign infiltration through religious organizations, and conducting reforms by taking other countries as role models.

Author Biography

Timo Schmitz

Timo Schmitz (*1993) holds an MA in philosophy and political science from Trier University, Germany. His previous contributions on Korea include The Crucial Role of New Religious Movements in the Liberations of Korea and Vietnam (Revista Română de Studii Eurasiatice, 2020); Wie kann die internationale Gemeinschaft Nordkorea in Zeiten von Corona helfen? (Ponto Think Tank, 2021); Das nordkoreanische Wissenschaftsverständnis und die ideologischen Grundlagen der Staatsdoktrin (Monograph, 2022); Jiwŏn: Un principe et un espoir de dialogue entre les deux Corées? (Foraus, 2022); and Analysing the Systemati- sation of Juche and Its Output (Revista Română de Studii Eurasiatice, 2022).



2024-04-19 — Updated on 2024-04-22