Missions Wednesday: North Korea

North Korea is almost always in the news, but as of late this country has been making headlines because of the impending passing of the leadership baton from Kim Jong Il to his son. We often hear of North Korea as a harsh and oppressive country, and this is true. Yesterday, the Desiring God blog posted a story from the Lausanne Conference of a North Korean woman who came to Christ. It's worth reading. Korea was divided into North and South after World War II. Communism rules this small nation. The border is considered to be very difficult to break, and those who do often are never seen again.

North Korea is one of the most oppressive nations in the world. All religions are illegal and persecuted. To be a Christian is a sentence of hard labor, or even death. In 1953 there were 300,000 Christians. Today the number of Christians is estimated at only a few thousand, though this number is very hard to truly know due to the secrecy of the country. The reality is that thousands of Christians have been killed simply for bearing the name of Christ. Many more have fled North Korea. Over 100,000 Christians are in labor camps. While little is known about the underground church, we do know that they have survived amidst great suffering. In North Korea it is a serious commitment to claim the name of Christ. Christians in North Korea mean it when they say "Christ is all."

Ways to pray.
  1. Pray for North Korean Christians. Some have escaped North Korea and fled to China, only to feel the pull back into their homeland. If they are caught, death is almost certain. Pray for courage amidst great suffering and fear. Pray that Jesus would be sweet to them and that they would not back down when trials come.
  2. Pray that God would open borders and provide a way in. There are many who are ready to go as soon as borders are open. This does not seem likely.
  3. Pray that God would make a way to bring the Gospel to North Korea. Years of oppression have made some receptive to the message of Jesus.
  4. Pray for the people of North Korea. The majority of them have never even heard the name of Jesus. Not even his name.

Reading about North Korea was sobering. I don't live in a world like that. But my brothers and sister in Christ do, as well as many more who don't even know his name. Though the task of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to North Korea might seem impossible to us, it is not impossible for God. Let us pray to that end.