Original Research

The religious phenomenon of Juche ideology as a political tool

Fransiskus I. Widjaja, Noh I. Boiliu, Irfan F. Simanjuntak, Joni M.P. Gultom, Fredy Simanjuntak
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6324 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6324 | © 2021 Fransiskus I. Widjaja, Noh I. Boiliu, Irfan F. Simanjuntak, Joni M.P. Gultom, Fredy Simanjuntak | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 September 2020 | Published: 28 April 2021

About the author(s)

Fransiskus I. Widjaja, Graduate School, Faculty of Theology, Real Theological Seminary Batam (STT Real Batam), Batam, Indonesia
Noh I. Boiliu, Christian Religious Education, Teacher Training and Education, Christian University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Irfan F. Simanjuntak, Graduate School, Faculty of Theology, Real Theological Seminary Batam (STT Real Batam), Batam, Indonesia
Joni M.P. Gultom, Graduate School, Faculty of Theology, Real Theological Seminary Batam (STT Real Batam), Batam, Indonesia
Fredy Simanjuntak, Graduate School, Faculty of Theology, Real Theological Seminary Batam (STT Real Batam), Batam, Indonesia


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Abstract

This study aims to determine the motive that led to the establishment of Juche by Kim Il Sung amidst the influence of communism and its transformation into religion in North Korea. North Korea is a communist country dictated by Kim Jong-Un of the Kim dynasty and known for its cruelty. The country underwent several changes from Marxism-Leninism to familism to determine its strength in Juche. This ideology that acts as a religion was influenced and strengthened Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong-Un and built by shifting the concept of marxism-Leninism to construct a new understanding of Juche. It will be demonstrated that this ideology was influenced by Confucianism, Christianity, Nationalism, Chinese Communism, and Russian Communism. In the modern era, imperialism was used as an ideological tool to restrict backwardness. This theory allegedly helped Kim Il-Sung establish a unitary, one-person rule over North Korea. ‘It will be examined whether Juche ideology is a tool the state has used to convince people of their government. Pronouncements, an intentional religion in which the people were to believe that their Ruler (Kim Il Sung) was a supreme human or an ideology that morphed into a religion’. It will be demonstrated that, when they started honoring Kim as their god, no other religion was permitted.

Contribution: This research offers readers an understanding of the value of humanity in the binding ideology of Juche. However, the Juche Ideology can serve as a missiological bridge towards mission goals, which require the experience of spiritual, physical, and social liberation.


Keywords

ideology; Juche; North Korea; religion; political.

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