According to Reuters, ‘China is cracking down on Christian charity groups near its border with North Korea … with hundreds of members of the community forced to leave the country and some who remain describing an atmosphere of fear.’

The action is believed to be aimed at closing off support to North Koreans who illegally enter China after fleeing persecution and poverty, before going on to other nations – most often South Korea.

This move comes as Pope Francis visits South Korea, the first visit by a Pope in 25 years.

The Archdiocese of Seoul said it invited about 10 North Korean Catholics to attend mass given by Pope Francis but the NK government sponsored Church has rejected the offer.

Source: Reuters; Yonhap News Agency