Although he is North Korean, Jae-jin grew up in China. But his family’s story is still one of persecution and heartache, and to this day, we have to change his name to keep him safe.
Today, he is a strong Christian who faithfully shares the Gospel despite the risks — but that wasn’t always the case.
A martyr’s tale
Many years ago, Jae-jin’s great-grandparents were living in China. Persecution was on the rise there, and his great-grandfather was forced to stop sharing the Gospel. Determined to continue winning souls for Christ, he and six of his children traveled back to North Korea to begin a new ministry while his wife and one of his daughters stayed behind.
But the family faced persecution in North Korea as well — only this time the persecution turned deadly.
One day, one of the great-grandfather’s daughters was playing outside. Neighbors came up and asked the young girl, “Do you believe in Jesus?” She told them yes, and word spread quickly.
Soon afterward, officials came to the house, dragged the children and their father outside … and buried the family alive. Jae-jin’s great grandmother and his grandmother, still living in China, were the only survivors.
When Jae-jin first heard the story of what happened to his family, he hated his home country and wanted nothing to do with it. He vowed to never go to the place that had torn his family apart.
“I had decided that I would not look at the land of North Korea after I heard that story from my grandmother,” he said.
Now, he is determined to share his faith with the people of North Korea. So, what changed? Over time, God used his family’s story to transform Jae-jin’s heart.
Jae-jin eventually became curious about the faith that had caused his great-grandparents to risk so much. And as he drew closer to God, his heart softened. He realized he did not want his family’s murders to be in vain.
“God has given me a love for North Korea,” said Jai-jin. “Let us pray for the soul of North Korea and for the freedom of faith.”
Jai-jin’s is just one of countless stories from North Korea that have remained untold for too long. The world needs to know what is going on in this most secretive nation and the risks Christians there are taking every day to follow Jesus.
That’s why we’ve compiled a handful of stories — some shared by our partners, some from North Korean defectors themselves — to give you a better understanding of the persecution in North Korea. Click here to download it now.
How will you respond?
William Wilberforce, a pivotal player in England’s abolitionist movement, was driven to action when he came face to face with another person’s struggles. After seeing slave ships and hearing terrible stories of enslaved men and women, he could not look away; so, he became their advocate.
When speaking about injustice, Wilberforce later said, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”
So take warning: After you read these stories of your persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea, you, too, will never be able to say again that you do not know about this injustice.
North Korea is far away from us in many ways. Most of us will never face the blatant persecution that those believers face every day. But just because they are far away does not mean that there’s nothing we can do to help.
Now that you know, what are you going to do about it? Here are a few ways you can help:
1. Share their stories
One of the best ways you can help is by sharing this collection of persecution stories with others. These are true accounts that you will never see on the news, but they are stories that deserve to be told.
Share them with your small group or your church congregation. Bring them up over dinner or as you say your evening prayers. The more people who know about the persecution in North Korea, the more people who can pray or send Bibles.
And when you share one of these stories, you make sure that people who have sacrificed everything for the Gospel — like Jae-jin’s great-grandfather — are never forgotten.
2. Send Bibles
These stories are always accompanied by a request for more Bibles. Christians in North Korea are some of the boldest and bravest believers alive, and yet so many of them have never had a chance to really read a copy of God’s Word.
They crave the encouragement and strength that can be found in the Scriptures, and they want to use the Bible to share the Gospel with those around them.
Thanks to a matching gift, every $10 you give will provide TWO Bibles instead of one from now through June 30. For less than the price of a movie ticket, you can help provide two copies of God’s Word to persecuted Christians in North Korea.
When we hear from persecuted Christians, they always ask that we do not pray for the persecution to end. Instead, they ask for these things:
• Pray that they will be bold
• Pray that they will be encouraged
• Pray that they will know God better
• Pray that the nation of North Korea will come to know Christ
Just like you, these men and women love Jesus with all their heart. By downloading and sharing their stories and by praying and sending Bibles, you can help these believers face persecution and share the hope of Jesus with a nation that desperately needs Him.