Religious Propaganda in the Modern World

When I think of propaganda I think of direct and persuasive pieces of advertisements aimed at drilling a certain idea or concept into the masses. It seems like as a society we would be able to get past propaganda, and that the world as a whole would allow people to think and believe whatever they want without propaganda consistently being thrown into our faces. Unfortunately that is not the case and a nation like North Korea, which has been heavily regarded as a brainwashed nation because of propaganda has been a heated topic as of late. In the article we look at modern propaganda and its effects.

From the article we can recognize the significance and problems with as ‘religious propaganda’ as North Korea has labeled it. The issue here is that Gimpo, South Korea a city only two miles from the North Korean border has set-up a 60ft tower that was decorated as a Christmas tree. Christmas a heavily Christian religion, poses a threat to Kim Jong-un’s North Korean’s state with its Juche ideology and “personality cult around the ruling dynasty”. In a country where it is forbidden to practice any religion other then Juche, you can see why North Korean towns seeing lit up towers decorated in Christian symbolism can cause tension, tension serious enough for North Korea to threaten to bomb it.

The more serious issue that we must deal with is the clash of ideologies between North and South Korea. Being born and raised in a westernized society it is easy to look at the situation and say that South Korea should be allowed to express their religious freedom as they are inside their own borders. But looking at it from North Koreas side, if a nation deliberately places religious symbols as propaganda warfare to the people of North Korea, who are born and raised into believing that their religion is the only true and real religion can pose a threat to there national identity, and it seems a little more rational to react in an extreme way. From a different point of view this situation is like North Korea imposing their religion of Juche onto us, forcing us to look at it and use images of blatant propaganda to try and convert us to their religion.

Everybody has initial opinions on what he or she sees and experience, that is what makes us human, but it is our ability to rationally examine situations and think outside of the individual which makes humans unique. From the example in this article we can begin to see it is not just one nation that uses propaganda, or that propaganda is a thing of the past but modern propaganda is everywhere, and if you don’t see it, it is because we have conformed to the beliefs in which have been forced onto us. In the context of religion, there are so many religions with conflicting views and conflicting interpretations within religions that we must take a step back and realize that every individual has different views of the world, but our ability to rationally and peacefully coexist is what defines us as a species. As far as the North and South Korean situation goes the article explains that through rational talks between the countries they have come to a mutual agreement on the ‘religious propaganda’ without the use of violence and that is just one of many examples on why humanity, at times dark is ultimately beautiful.

– T.C #349


One thought on “Religious Propaganda in the Modern World

  1. I think that the article poses many great questions in relation to the regulation of propaganda. As this article mentioned, in modern times propaganda is not limited to just posters but can be fed to the public in a variety of ways; such as TV, advertisements, and social media. This prompts the question of whether propaganda infested material should be regulated, and by whom? It is simple for anyone to spread propaganda over the internet because the internet is global and is loosely regulated and simply cannot be policed. But in the case of the South Korean Christmas tree, does North Korea have a right to protect its citizens from what they believe is evil? Of course this would be impossible for one of the two countries involved to decide so the introduction of a third party regulator may be in the best interests of all parties.

    Although the North and South Korea example is a single event, it has been easy to note because of it’s physical presence. Most religious propaganda over the internet is not as easy to spot and is viewed by millions of people. This raises the question if nations should have a right to block such propaganda from it’s citizens or if democratic regimes would be violating people’s rights by doing so? For example, should the United States be able to block material posted by groups such as ISIS from being seen by it’s own citizens to further ensure national security? I believe that by blocking this material the United State’s actions would be not much different from those of the Nazi regime in Germany. This however may be a choice needed to make in the future as individuals begin to weigh their freedoms against importance of national security.

    GS #349

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