The ever fascinating 'ask a North Korean' feature in NKNews this week deals with the question of why so many exiled North Koreans turn to Christianity. The answer lies in the fact that that the cliche about North Korea being a theocracy is more literally true than you think:
Once you look into the Ten Principles, you will notice Kim Il Sung took his political ideas from the Bible. Kim Il Sung also called himself ‘the sun’ and his son the ‘Shining Star of Paekdu Mountain’. They say if you commit your life to serving Kim Il Sung and his son, though your physical body may perish you will gain immortality in the political life. In purporting that he and his son were gods and therefore rightful leaders, Kim started creating a country of false religion that in no way adheres to socialist values. In North Korea, Marx’s and Lenin’s books are banned. I leave it to your assumptions as to why.
The core of Christianity is based around repentance, being forgiven and saved by God. Repentance is only confessed to God and forgiveness determined by him. And in North Korea? Every Saturday, North Koreans have to confess their wrongdoings and seek for forgiveness of the leader.
The ten principles were in fact formulated by KIm Jong-il in the 1970's, consolidating the country's shift from bureauctaric communism to outright leader worship and in the process making Jong-il himself a combination of Moses and Jesus in a vinylon tracksuit topped by a punch perm.