Today is the feast day of some 19th century saints/martyrs from Korea.
Andrew Kim Taegon, (the first Korean born priest, left)
Paul Chong Hasang below and companions named here
The story of the early homegrown Korean church and the astounding faith of these brave saints is here.
Human rights groups in South Korea say North Korea has stepped up executions of Christians, some of them in public.
The communist country, the world's most closed society, views religion as a major threat.
Only the founder of the country, Kim Il-sung, and his son, Kim Jong-il, may be worshipped, in mass public displays of fervour.
Despite the persecutions, it is thought up to 30,000 North Koreans may practise Christianity secretly in their homes.
Coat of arms South KoreaImage via Wikipedia
A report by a number of South Korean groups highlights one particular case of a woman allegedly executed in public last month, in a northern town close to the Chinese border.
She was accused of distributing Bibles, spying for South Korea and the United States and helping to organise dissidents. Her parents, husband, and children were sent to a prison camp.
North Korea views any form of alternative social organisation as a competitor for its own, religion-like ideology.
The US government says just owning a Bible in North Korea may be a cause for torture and disappearance.
More information on the current situation in North Korea from Release International here