The Church Persecuted
Here, we aim to offer support for those committed to pray in support of Christians around the world who face persecution. In particular, we include below brief details of the nation for this month, provided from the Open Doors ministry. This year we will be featuring the 'next twelve nations' rather than starting again at  in January. This might result in the occasional repeat as the order might have changed since last year. For further information to support you as you pray, click on the links at the bottom of the page.
WHO IS THE LEADER OF NORTH KOREA?
Kim Jong-un is the leader of North Korea. Modern day North Korea was founded by Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and the family are worshipped as gods. Anyone who dares to believe in a higher authority than the Kim family is considered an enemy of the state.
HOW MANY CHRISTIANS LIVE IN NORTH KOREA?
It is estimated that there are between 200,000 and 400,000 Christians in North Korea. However, it’s difficult to get an exact figure, as Christians in North Korea must keep their faith completely secret.
Of those, we estimate that between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are imprisoned in terrible labour camps – simply for choosing to follow Jesus. And yet, despite the risks, the church in North Korea is slowly but steadily growing.
WHY ARE CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED IN NORTH KOREA?
Christians are considered enemies of the state because they dare to believe in a higher authority than the Kim family. The North Korean regime demands absolute loyalty and obedience, and the Kim family are worshipped like gods. Portraits of the Kim family must be hung in all homes and schools. The first words parents must teach their children are ‘Thank you, Father Kim Il-sung’.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE FOR CHRISTIANS IN NORTH KOREA?
Christians must keep their faith completely secret. If a Christian has a Bible, or part of one, it will be carefully hidden and only read when the believer is sure they are alone.
Most Christians do not even tell their own children about their faith until they are older teenagers for fear that they may let something slip. Read Sang-Hwa’s story of discovering her family’s secret faith as a child.
If a Christian is discovered in North Korea, they will be arrested and imprisoned in one of North Korea’s terrible labour camps. In the camps, Christians are worked liked slaves and often tortured; most are never able to escape.
And yet, our brothers and sisters in North Korea have decided that knowing Jesus is worth the risks they face. The church in North Korea is not only surviving, but growing - and they have great hope for the future. One Christian has shared: "One day the borders will open and we will unite with the South Korean and the Chinese church to bring the gospel to some of the darkest places on this earth."
And even in the darkness of the labour camps, God is at work. Read Hea Woo’s story of planting a church in a labour camp toilet.
For more details please see the following websites:
Open Doors Christian Solidarity Worldwide Release International