North Korea: Christians suffer
Photos depict barbed wire fences surrounding its borders. Reality shows barbed oppression surrounds its citizens. They cower under constant surveillance of their movements, possessions, and conversations.. If they leave their country for more freedom, their families will be punished for their defection. Soldiers march, arms extended toward the horizon, violently kicking their legs toward the horizon in unity. The unfortunate ones the soldiers capture endure torture chambers where they must balance weights in a contorted bodily position, or else be killed. Some report the prisoners become victims of human experimentation, ideas stolen from Soviet Russia. This is North Korea today.
For the 30,000 Christian Believers bound in the country’s concentration camps, life is even harder. It is the hardest in the world, according to Open Door’s World Watch List. They are the prisoners of a war being waged on Christians in North Korea. Having only a few mouthfuls to eat twice a day, prisoners labor at assigned jobs for 15 hours in coalmines, where they also sleep. Others working in equally hard labor areas often have to sleep on concrete floors. Anyone can face death if found meeting with others, saying the name “Jesus,” possessing Scripture, or even bowing his or her head.
North Korea was once known as the Jerusalem of the East due to a revival that spread across the nation in 1907. The current regime has built a religion based on a distortion of Christianity. It even upholds its own ten commandments. Once strong Confucianists, now North Koreans are encouraged to worship Kim Il Sung as the father and Eternal President of the nation.
For the twelfth year in a row, North Korea has again earned the status of being the most repressive nation on earth. It is also the world’s worst country that abuses human rights..The punishment is the same for citizens who defect and those who commit suicide. Family members still remaining in North Korea will be punished.. Indeed, killing one’s self is a crime against the state in North Korea. Years of abuse, though, still affect those who escape. The suicide rate of North Koreans now living in South Korea is very high.
This year, poor crop production also threatens its citizens’ health. The North Korean government uses its finances to develop weapons to defend itself against the Christian West instead of feeding its citizens.
But according to Eric Foley, of Seoul USA, still Christianity has advanced here in the “Hermit Kingdom” for the last 60 years.
North Korean Believers who’ve escaped to South Korea are striking back. They sneak converts to freedom. They smuggle Scripture sown into clothes. They smuggle audio Scripture, songs and teachings in hidden MP3 devices. They partner with mission groups to launch Bible-carrying balloons. This year, 70,000 balloons were launched into North Korean skies. GPS tracking of the balloons shows they fall in strategic locations.
Indeed, North Korea’s hopes come only from the heavens.
Pray for a strengthening of faith for North Korean Christian Believers, those in concentration camps as well as those who hide (The Bible, Romans 4:20).
Pray for protection of the ex-patriot Believers and their plans to get the gospel into North Korea (The Bible, Romans 14:9).
Pray that God’s mercy will release rain, and prevent further tragedy in this land (The Bible, Leviticus 26:4).