Sending Office: Bilirakis, Gus M.
Sent By:

International Religious Freedom Caucus Briefing

Imprisoning the Minds:

How the Lack of Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion and Belief Keeps North Koreans Living in the Dark


2:30-3:30 PM

2456 RHOB

The Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus invites you to attend a timely briefing about the denial of one of our most fundamental human rights – the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief – in the Democratic People’s
Republic of North Korea (DPRK), and what steps Congress can take to help North Koreans have access to information and experience true freedom.

While the world’s attention understandably is focused on how to respond to President Kim Jong Un’s nuclear threats and provocations and avert a global crisis ahead of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the Caucus is particularly concerned with the future
of the North Korean people and how they will be affected by international policies, and how they can affect the future of the country given greater freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief. 

According to the UN Commission of Inquiry, which was established to investigate the DPRK’s abuses of human rights, the people of the DPRK are suffering “unspeakable atrocities” whose gravity, scale and nature have “no parallel in the contemporary world.” 
In spite of attempts by the international community to expose these human right violations, nothing has changed for the people of North Korea.

While Article 68 of their constitution allows for freedom of religion, President Kim Jong Un has positioned himself to be revered as “the only religion, or God” amongst the North Korean people, a religion instituted by his grandfather and often referred
to as “Juche”.  President Kim Jong Un has continued his predecessors policies of mind control in order to maintain power over the people, including by restricting access to the outside world that would undermine the idolization of the Kim regime.

Panelists will assess the “Juche” ideology of North Korea, the human rights violations, and the actions Congress can take right now to increase the North Korean’s access to information and experience greater freedom.

Speakers Include:

  • Suzanne Sholte- President, Defense Forum Foundation, North Korea Freedom Coalition
  • Choi Kwanghyuk- Defector from North Korea
  • Tom Belke – Author of “Juche: A Christian Study of North Korea’s State Religion”

Please RSVP to Miranda Robinson at

We look forward to seeing you at the briefing.

Most sincerely,

Gus Bilirakis & Juan Vargas

Co-Chairmen of the International Religious Freedom Caucus

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs

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