"The God that failed" was what Arthur Koestler and other ex-Marxists famously called Soviet communism after they renounced it in the 1940s. For North Koreans, Kim Jong-Il has become the God who died.
Officially, religion is alien to North Korea's Juche ideology (an eccentric offshoot of Marxism that was created by Kim’s father, Kim Il-sung). But in practice, Juche is itself a sort of quasi-religion that demands unwavering loyalty to the totalitarian North Korean one-party state.
Kim Il-sung knew that the only way to legitimize his repressive, impoverished regime was to insulate subjects from the outside world (the dials on North Korean radios are soldered so as to lock them in permanently to the state propaganda network) and to turn himself into an ersatz deity. Over 500 statues of Kim Il-sung dot the North Korean landscape, and a revisionist history of his days as an anti-Japanese guerrilla fighter have been embellished to the point that they seem like something out of a 1980s-era Arnold Schwarzenegger film.
Kim Jong-Il took this personality cult further. North Koreans tell visiting journalists that a new star appeared in the sky on the day of the man's birth, that he is an internationally celebrated film director, and that he scored a hole-in-one on his first ever golf outing.
You can read the entire post on the personality cult of the late Kim Jong-Il, here.
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