From a sociological viewpoint, its 19m followers make JUCHE, the national ideology of North Korea, clearly a religion. It has a comprehensive belief system, has holy places, and distinctive customs... moreover, it displaces other religions. It does not take a sociological genius to see that the cult of the North Korean state's founder, Kim Il Sung, and of his son and successor Kim Jong Il, who ruled from 1994 to 2011, shares many features with established creeds. (claims Thomas J Belke, an American Protestant theologian)
The founder is a kind of god, and his successor as the "son of a god"—a formula that is every bit a valid as Christian theology … with the exception that we can prove these individuals lived. More important, unlike Christianity, the North Koreans seem to actually follow the laws their deity sets down. As we know, Christians are ordered, by Jesus, Peter, James and Paul, to follow the Torah Laws – they are to avoid pork, shell fish, blood and fat. When have you ever met a Christian who avoided these for religious (as opposed to medical) reasons?
Looking at Christian history, we see they would convert, or kill, Jesus, Peter, James and Paul, for NOT abandoning their Torah. It is the key to the Inquisition and the now abandoned prayer for the conversion of the Jews.
The core principle of JUCHE is self-reliance: the idea that North Korea is under perpetual threat and must therefore pursue economic and military self-sufficiency so as to survive – and the greater the threat to the nation, the greater its need for a supernatural protector.
Mr Belke, the Protestant theologian, is more struck by the utter contrast between juche and Christianity, which spread throughout Korea in the early 20th century, thrives in the South and still survives in underground pockets in the North. In his view, the very existence of Christianity is a threat to the Kims because "nothing undermines totalitarianism more than the idea that the ruler, like everybody else, is accountable to God."
Read the ECONOMIST article, then do your own research – or, as the Vatican did, read “SAINT PAUL’S JOKE” and discover why Benedict XVI had to resign, and why Pope Francis I is being so friendly to the Jews..