Will President Trump and Kim Jong-un’s meeting pave the way for new era of religious freedom in North Korea?

SINGAPORE – Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un shared a historic handshake as they met for the first time. The US president said his first “fantastic” meeting with the North Korean leader had gone “better than expected”.

The two men shook hands at a luxury hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore on Tuesday. It is the first ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

The United States is seeking the complete and verifiable de-nuclearization of North Korea. But aside from the politics and rhetoric in the meeting, many people around the world are hoping the meeting will pave the way for a new era of religious freedom in North Korea.

If relations between the two countries warm, there is a chance that the estimated 250,000 people held in prison camps within North Korea could be released. It estimated that 50,000 of those 250,000 are Christians, persecuted for their faith.

For Christians, daily life in North Korea is a struggle – believers are forced to worship underground, with only several state churches (which are not real churches, from most reports) available for public worship. If caught, Christians can be arrested and imprisoned.

The tens of thousands of Christians in prison or detention camps and restricted villages are suffering under unthinkable conditions. North Korea is the most dangerous country in the world for Christians.

The Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un meeting in Singapore is a glimmer of hope that this might change.

Image: North Korean couple subtly praying (Credits: Open Doors USA).

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