North Korea is considered the world’s most oppressed country . . . and the most dangerous place in the world for a Christian. In the last 50 years, 300,000 North Korean Christians have disappeared and are believed to be dead.
Today, about 100,000 North Korean Christians are rumored to be living in the country’s infamous labor camps. And typically, if one individual is accused of following Christ, their entire family is arrested on suspicion of treason and sent to these camps as well. Extended family members—even associates—are also known to suffer persecution for several generations afterward.
Lifelong sentences mean that those imprisoned are never heard from again. They simply disappear. Their stories are never told.
We do know that Christians held or sent to labor camps are starved, beaten, forced to undergo indescribable torture and medical experiments, and other methods of inhumane treatment. If they don’t die of malnutrition, sickness, or injuries . . . they are literally worked to death. There is no distinction between the elderly, children, or pregnant women—if you are a Christian in North Korea, you are held without mercy.
You have been given a death sentence.
Reaching these victims with physical help or international mediation is virtually impossible. But we already possess the most powerful resource to make a difference! We can appeal to the highest form of justice on earth—God’s intervention. Our prayers are the greatest form of advocacy we can offer to North Korean Christians . . . and they need them more than ever before.
While the punishment for following Christ in China may be less severe than in North Korea, persecution is just as widespread.
Christians are forbidden to worship apart from government-sanctioned churches or in groups larger than 25 people. Though accounts of beating and torture have decreased dramatically, communist regulations is perhaps stronger than ever. Pastors and Christian leaders are monitored and harassed, prey to authorities simply waiting for the chance to act. House churches are targeted and hundreds, if not thousands, are legally disbanded every year.
This month, a church in Beijing was raided by a large group of police officers and social officials. The men charged in, removing bookshelves stacked with Bibles. They confiscated phones—even deleting incriminating information of the raid—and proceeded to destroy property.
Chinese believers live out their faith knowing there will be consequences. Yet the house church movement continues to grow at an unstoppable rate. For every one church terminated by the government, multiple churches develop in its place.
As we experience the gift of religious freedom, we have more than a responsibility to pray for these Christians—we have the unique privilege. We have the incredible opportunity to help bear the spiritual burdens of our global family through prayer.
Our prayers have the power to impact Christians suffering in the most unreachable places—spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Will you reach out to those in desperate need of your support? For those without any hope at all, our prayers are a profound source of comfort.
Please join us on November 3 for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, and get your entire church involved. Visit worldhelp.net/prayer for helpful information and stories from around the world. While you’re there, take advantage of our free bulletin insert to share with your congregation.
For the sake of those who will receive the blessing and strengthening of our intervention, thank you for your prayers.
As you pray for our brothers and sisters around the world, consider giving the gift of God’s Word. World Help works year round to provide Bibles through our global distribution network. The need is always pressing, particularly in countries hostile toward Christians. For every $5 raised, we can supply the gift of the Word to a Christian in desperate need of spiritual comfort.