North Korea (MNN) — Isolation, persecution, deception. These words describe reality for Christians in North Korea.
And now, Christians are facing even more hardship.
Reuters reports the country is facing the biggest drought in over a decade.
Army troops are protecting what crops there are, and office workers, farmers, and women have been ordered to direct water to farmland.
Some reports indicate that areas of North Korea have gone 70 days without rain.
The situation spells a high chance for another famine in North Korea.
Christian Aid Mission connected us with a ministry leader in North Korea to discuss recent allegations made by the government against Christians.
While the ministry leader wasn’t aware of those specific allegations, he says it is very possible.
“This is their typical style of accusation. To control their people, they must blame someone, and it is the Christians and missionaries this time,” he says, suggesting that the accusations stem from border security vulnerability.
The ministry leader goes on to explain why Christians are an easy target.
“Christians in that region are willing to risk doing underground activities in order to help North Koreans. They are unselfishly helping the poor and hungry in North Korea in and out of the country by providing food, basic needs, vocational training, and other support.
“When missionaries show compassion and kindness to North Koreans, it is a foreign concept to them.”
He says that the kindness shown to them alongside the truth of God is “a spiritual/intellectual earthquake in their thinking.”
The underground work that Christians are doing is the only way that the North Koreans in the direst of situations will receive help.
“That’s why North [Korea] blames Christians: people are being reached and their lives are changed by the love of Christ.”
The contact explains that many who come to Christ become aware of the government’s deceit and are thankful that their eyes have been opened.
He says, “North Koreans are so closely ‘quarantined’ from outside influence and information that they believe they are the most prosperous, advanced, and fortunate people on earth.”
The ministry leader stresses that it is not the goal of the Gospel to tear down the Korean ideology, “but when Christ is preached, the intellectual/spiritual bondage/deception is broken.”
Just as the apostle Paul asks his brothers and sister to pray for boldness, the ministry leader asks that you pray for our brothers and sisters working in North Korea to be emboldened with the power of the Gospel.
Pray that God will bring truth and comfort to the people of North Korea. Pray that God’s people will be obedient to their calling to go out among the nations and spread the Good News.
Pray that as the drought begins to take a greater toll on the stomachs in North Korea, they will flee to the refuge in Christ Jesus.
Pray that the full armor of God will protect God’s people from the spiritual warfare going on all around them. The ministry leader says this is a very real battle in North Korea.
He included the testimony of a new believer. It gives us some perspective on the government’s influence, and also the seriousness of the situation before the drought has had time to make its full impact:
I have lived under the Ju-Che ideology of General Kim; that was my only mission in life in my country. But it was a propaganda slogan that many people clung to till they died of hunger. Now in NK, many terrible things are happening because no rice is given to the family members to eat; they are drying the skin of potatoes and the tofu remains to eat as their daily food. Our family has no rice to cook so we always go into the mountain to collect grass weed to cook to eat. There is an ancient proverb that no one stands loyal when they are hungry more than three days. This is also true in NK now.
I was so hungry that I crossed into China illegally. I learned about Jesus because of this illegal crossing into China. I thought I would die when I knew Jesus. In NK’s education, I learned that pastors and missionaries who believe in God are evil. But when I met them in person, they were not at all evil. I realized what I had learned was a total lie and propaganda to fool the people. As I realize this now, the NK society is full of lies and false teaching, leading people the wrong way–a very dangerous society.
When I came to China, I came to realize that the Korean Chinese life that believes and lives in God is the real life on earth with God. When I met the missionaries, they were kinder than any of my own blood relatives by asking about myself one by one, about my health, my family. I have no idea how to express my feelings I felt at that time. It was so touching to me.
Really, the love of Jesus transmitted to me through the missionary and it has been the greatest blessing that I have ever received in my life because this has been transferred now to my parents who are in North Korea, who received Jesus as their Savior. The missionaries have shared the truth of God with me and connected me to the love of God, so that I love to tell these feelings to my friends in North Korea. I will leave myself to the hand of Jesus forever till I come to heaven, walking boldly by enduring and overcoming any difficulties I may have in the future.
This interview was made possible with Christian Aid Mission’s help. If you would like to support them, click here.