North Korea (MNN) — North Korea's
"currency reforms" have had disastrous consequences.
The economy has gone into free fall
since the reforms went into place in November 2009. Carl Moeller with Open Doors
explains that the country is in chaos and panic. "People who've done everything possible for their entire lifetime
to save a meager sum of money found it devalued a thousand fold."
One thousand won would be worth only
10, and it costs a hundred times that for two kilos of rice and some water. "The food has become way too
expensive," says an Open Doors source. "You can compare the first months of
this year with the 1990s when so many people died of starvation. The situation
has improved somewhat, but horrendous things are still taking place"
This Open Doors source calls what's happening
"a terrible blow to our people. Some people had been saving up for 10 years.
And the government is letting people down… We were left to fend for ourselves."
The source goes on to say, "Of course,
the situation was bad compared to other countries. People were dying of
starvation, but many others succeeded in surviving. After the currency reform,
people started to panic. Many literally suffered from heart attacks when they
heard they had lost their savings. I heard the story of a woman who had bought
rice in China and had traded it for a lot of money in North Korea. A day later,
all that money had been reduced to mere paper. She committed suicide. Some of
my friends and acquaintances had been saving up for years. They have enormous
regrets about that now."
Worse yet, Moeller says, "Wages
are no longer being paid. How can you work without wages? What will keep you from revolt? If North
Korea goes into chaos, truly, the actions of a madman can't be
The government also announced in
December 2009 that people could only use U.S., European, and Chinese currencies.
Most people were surviving before,
but even that is in question now. North Korea is first on the Open Doors World
Watch List of the top 50 nations persecuting Christians, which means they are
at the bottom of the economic ladder.
Moeller says Open Doors has been helping,
and it is keeping the spark of the Gospel bright. "We've had numerous reports that Bibles,
radios, food, clothing and shelter has literally been the difference in some
cases between a despairing and defeated and even extinct church, and a church
that's been able to survive and reach out to its neighbors."
Please pray for North Korean
Christians who are suffering not only severe persecution but also the lack of
food for their families. Pray that the
Word of God would continue to go out in the world's most restrictive
government. Pray that Christians will
be a shining light in an otherwise dark and dreary country.
You can get involved and speak out on their behalf. Click here.