I wanted to share this press release with you regarding the situation going on in North Korea. Please join us in praying! I also included a link to a news article regarding the situation. Thank you for joing us in praying and in sharing this with those in your circle of influence.
Open Doors Calls for Prayers
After North Korea Reportedly
Orders Deaths of 33
People Connected to Missionary
SANTA ANA, Calif. (March 10, 2014) – Open Doors is calling for prayer after North Korea has reportedly ordered the death of as many as 33 people who are supposedly connected to South Korean missionary Kim Jung-wook. They are being charged with attempting to overthrow the regime by receiving money to set up 500 underground churches, a source shared with the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.
“We need to bathe the country of North Korea in prayer,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO David Curry. “North Korea has been the No. 1 persecutor of Christians on the Open Doors World Watch List for 12 years in a row. And for good reasons. Usually when persecution increases in a country, the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ is rapidly spreading. Join me in prayer today.”
Whether or not all arrested people are converted Christians is unknown. However, their reported death sentence is evidence that the North Korean regime continues to rule with enormous brutality. Kim Jong-Un has ordered to remove “unclean elements” from his country. Last year his uncle and mentor Jang Song-Thaek was executed. His children, brothers and grand-children were murdered shortly after his death. Last week a rumor surfaced that Jang’s successor, Vice Marshall Choi Ryong Hae, has already been purged as well. He has not been seen in public for awhile.
Baptist missionary Kim was arrested in the North Korea last October for allegedly establishing underground churches, though other sources say he was actually kidnapped in the Chinese border city of Dandong by North Korean secret agents. In a staged press conference on Feb. 27, Kim reportedly “admitted” he helped the South Korean Secret Service through his activities and that his goal was the collapse of the regime. It was hoped Kim would be released after this public statement.
During the same press conference, North Korean authorities aired interviews with five North Koreans who claimed to have met the missionary and received money from him. They said Kim Jung-wook told them that when the regime collapses, a church must be built on the spot in Pyongyang where the statues of nation founder Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il stand.
The news comes only a day after Australian missionary John Short arrived in Beijing. Short was arrested last month for leaving Christian Korean pamphlets behind in a Buddhist temple. North Korea’s state news agency, KCNA, said Short had apologized and admitted to violating North Korean laws. According to KCNA, North Korea expelled him partly in consideration of his old age.
Another missionary, Korean American Kenneth Bae, is still held against his will. Bae was arrested on Nov. 12, 2012 while leading a tourist group in North Korea. The North Korean prosecutors were quick to charge him with planning an anti-North Korean religious coup, setting up bases in China for the purpose of toppling the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, encouraging North Korean citizens to bring down the government and conducting a malignant smear campaign. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Despite diplomatic pressure, North Korea refuses to let Bae go.
Please pray for North Korea:
• Pray for the people who have been sentenced to death. Pray that God will give them strength and that He will prevent the killings.
• For Kim Jung-wook and Kenneth Bae, the two foreign missionaries who are being held against their will. Pray God comforts them and gives them the words to speak to their captors.
• For the rest of the North Korean population, who are afraid of the wide-scale purges in North Korea.
• That Kim Jong-Un will soften his heart and come to know Jesus as his Savior. Don’t forget to pray for the other North Korean leaders as well.