Thursday 3 October 2019

Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries: North Korea

Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries is one of my favourites series of posts in my blog. Generally it is easy for me to find material from the numerous websites about Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries in a particular country. But it becomes difficult for me to sift data and material and compose a comprehensive post.

However, writing about Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries in North Korea was an altogether different experience, for I spent more time in searching for material, and found almost none, thus it became much to easy for me to write this post, for there are hardly any Muslims in North Korea. In a most irreligious country, where there is no state religion and mostly the population is atheist, and non patronage of any religion by the state, there hardly exist any "religion" as we know of by the general definition. In fact the religion is widely discouraged, even though the constitution grant “freedom of religious belief.”

As per Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project report of year 2010 (there is none later than this available), Muslims constitute less than 1% of the total North Korean population. Which is something like less than 10,000. To be exact, other estimates show there are around 3,000 Muslims in North Korea. These are mostly the embassy staff of Muslim countries stationed in the capital Pyongyang.

J.R. Mallard, in reply to a question "Are there any Muslims in North Korea?" remarks on Quora: "I have no doubt that there are Muslims in North Korea. If you mean actual Koreans who are Muslim in North Korea, that would be hard to prove."

And that is about all !!

Are there any mosques in North Korea? Well yes, ONLY ONE and that too inside the Iranian Embassy compound. Masjid Ar Rahman, as it is so named, is the only point of gathering of Muslims in the capital Pyongyang. 
The only photo of Masjid Ar Rahman available on the world of web

I tried to look for anything pictorial about Muslims in North Korea but ended up with this only video by Jaka Parker as shared on the YouTube. He describes his video in these many words:
We are Muslim family in Pyongyang wishing you a Happy Eid Al-Fitr - Taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum, minal 'aidin wal faizin. Happy reunite with all your family and friends. This video shows Muslims in Pyongyang those doing Eid prayer at Masjid Ar Rahman (The one and only Masjid in NK) in Iran Embassy. The video shows Iranian, Egyptian, Indonesian, Malaysia, Pakistani, Nigerian,and Syrian Muslims offering the Eid prayer together and then getting together for a wonderful group photo.
In the video below, it is heartening to observe Muslims from across the globe attending the Eid prayers and celebrating the festival without any religious prejudices as are otherwise exhibited in the mutual relations of Muslim countries outside North Korea. 
Author's Note: The data for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
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