A North Korean defector who managed to escape the oppressive regime spoke out this week about the nation’s persecution of Christian believers. Choi Kwanghyuk described his experience being arrested, tortured and sentenced to a labor camp as a result of his faith.

During his time living in North Hamgyong province, Choi started an underground church so he and fellow Christians could worship, the 55-year-old told Fox News Wednesday.

“There were about nine people,” Choi said. “I couldn’t do mission work because we had to keep it secret that we had a church. We couldn’t raise our voice during a service, we couldn’t sing out loud during a worship, that was hard. Also, we had to hide so that other people could not see us.”

North Korean authorities found out about Choi’s church in 2008. He was arrested and imprisoned by the state security department, where he was interrogated, he told Fox News.

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