: World Religions - Juche



Juche, created in the year 1955, means 'Self Reliance' or 'Self Dependance', in Korean language'. The authorities stress that the major concept of Juche is 'the ability to act independently without regard to outside interferance'.

Juche is a philosophical idea that man is the master of everything and decides everything. In other words, the idea that man is the master of the world and his own destiny.

It is said that this idea was rooted in Baekdu Mountain which symbolises the spirit of the Korean people. Juche is the only ideology, authorised by the North Korean government, to the extent of omitting all other religions.

Juche is in reality a religion and the 19 million adherents to this religion make Juche the world's fifth largest religion after Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

As a social and political ideology, many of the components of Juche are similar to Marxism as well as some Communist ideologies of China (Maoism) and the former U.S.S.R. (Leninism).

Originally constructed as an ideology to assist North Korea with its independence, Juche also claims to be an ideology to assist other developing countries with understanding and developing their true independence.

Further in the year 1994, Juche ideology developed, when General Secretary Kim Jong-il,the son and successor of Kim il-Sung added some of the ethical components of Confucianism to Juche, including doctrines addressing material possessions,family values and self-sacrifice.

The promoters of Juche describe it as merely a secular, ethical philosophy and not a religion. However, from a sociological viewpoint Juche is a religion and in many ways it is even more religious than Soviet-era Communism or Chinese Maoism.


In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Juche especially refers to a political thesis of Kim il-Sung, the Juche Idea, that identifies the Korean masses as the masters of the country's development.

According to Kim Il-sung, the Juche Idea is based on the belief that 'man is the master of everything and decides everything'.

Later from 1950s to 1970s, Kim elaborated the Juche Idea into a set of principles, that the government uses to justify its policy decisions.

Among these are independence from great powers, a strong military posture, and reliance on Korean national resources. Juche has sometimes been translated in North Korean sources as 'independent stand' or 'spirit of self-reliance' and has also been interpreted as 'always putting Korean things first'.

Prior to the rule of Kim Il-sung,the North Korea was the site of an early 20th century Christian revival.Many Christians lived in and many churches dotted Pyongyang that the city was called,'The Jerusalem of the East '.

The son of Christian parents and the grandson of a Christian pastor, Kim Il-sung was intimately familiar with Christianity and saw Christians choose martyrdom over worshipping the Japanese Emperor during Japan's colonisation of the Korean peninsula.

Recognizing the power of Christianity, Kim wanted it to be directed at himself. So he took Christianity, removed God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, set up himself, his wife and son as the new trinity and called it Juche. At its core, Juche is a counterfeit Christianity that is deathly afraid of true version and rightfully so.