Tracey Crouch, the minister for civil society, has told Christian...
The recent detention by Chinese police of ten people who escaped from North Korea has prompted a plea for Christians to pray.
Believers are being urged to ask God that authorities block moves to deport the group and allow members safe passage to relatives in South Korea.
Chief Executive of the advocacy group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Mervyn Thomas told Premier: "This is an urgent call for everybody; what future have any of them [the ten detainees] got if they're put back into North Korea?"
The ten individuals, who range in age from three-years-old to the 60s, were arrested in the north eastern city of Shenyang last Saturday.
China has followed a policy of repatriating North Korean defectors, despite the risks of punishments awaiting detainees, including torture and execution.
Mervyn Thomas also said: "Even if not actually executed, the conditions of torture and abuse in North Korean detention centres and prison camps are so severe that imprisonment amounts to a death sentence.
"We appeal to China to show humanity and exercise responsibility by allowing these and all other North Korean Refugees safe passage to South Korea or a third country."
The ten individuals hope to seek resettlement in South Korea, a country which recognises North Koreans as its own citizens.
Mr Thomas added: "As it becomes an increasingly influential world power, China must respect international humanitarian norms.
"Failure to do so renders China directly complicit with North Korea's crimes against humanity."
Click here to listen to Premier's Rick Easter speaking with Mervyn Thomas at Christian Solidarity Worldwide:
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