Kang Young-sup, 80, a former judge and ambassador who became a North Korean Christian pastor, died Jan. 21.
Kang, who worked toward reunification of North and South Korea, belonged to a well-connected Christian family "who protected Christians under the communist regime because they were very close to [former North Korean leader] Kim Il Sung as relatives," said World Council of Churches leader Jooseop Keum.
About 13,000 Christians live in the country, Keum said. For the 10th year in a row, North Korea topped the Open Doors annual watch list of countries where Christians face the most persecution.
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