Press Releases

ERLC Releases Documentary on North Korea in Conjunction with the U.S. Department of State’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

July 18, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 18, 2019—The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention premiered a documentary titled, Humanity Denied: Religious Freedom in North Korea, at an event today in conjunction with the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. The 10-minute film produced by the ERLC features defectors from North Korea as well as church leaders and human rights activists in South Korea.

In addition to highlighting the grave human rights violations carried out by the Kim regime, the film tells the story of an enduring faith and hope in the midst of suffering. The documentary is available to view here.

Russell Moore, president of the ERLC, commented on the film release:

“This short film tells the story of God’s people in North Korea, but it does more than that because the story of God’s people turns earthly power upside down. The anguish of the journey our brothers and sisters in Christ took to escape the horrors of the Kim Jong-un regime is what gives this film its force. Biblical courage redefines power and reshapes community. Those of us who belong to Christ find their power in the spirit of God and, as these brave Koreans teach us, that ought to embolden us to stand, even against a despot who denies our humanity. These men and women are a gift to the church and I hope many will learn from their example of courageous faith.”

At the ERLC event today, the film screening was followed by an interview with a North Korean defector for him to share his personal story of escaping the communist country. 

The event concluded with a panel discussion led by ERLC’s Executive Vice President, Phillip Bethancourt, featuring Rev. Kenneth Bae, the longest held U.S. prisoner in North Korea, Dr. Jin Shin, President of the Institute for Peace Affairs in Seoul, South Korea, Olivia Enos, Policy Analyst – Asia Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation as well as Steven Harris, Policy Director of the ERLC.

The U.S. Department of State’s Ministerial is an annual gathering to collaborate with government officials, religious leaders and civil society organizations from around the world on the critical issue of religious freedom. This year’s event more than doubled in size from the inaugural Ministerial in 2018 with nearly 200 countries sending representatives to Washington this week.

Elizabeth Bristow

Elizabeth Bristow serves as the Press Secretary for the ERLC. Elizabeth oversees press and media operations for the organization and also coordinates marketing and advertising for ERLC events. Elizabeth received a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing from Union University in 2010. She and her husband have one son. Read More by this Author