(MNN) — A disconcerting report is coming out of a fairly reliable North Korea
the report, the North Korean government is reportedly setting up fake underground
churches and disguising national security agents as defectors to expose
Voice of the
Martyrs Canada's Glenn Penner can't confirm specifics. However, based on the source, he says, "Apparently, they're going into China, infiltrating the Korean churches that are assisting the North Korean
defectors, and then coming back into North Korea with money and with Bibles,
with the whole idea of unmasking Christians and also taking the funds and then using them for the North
Penner says it's
not a totally new strategy. He notes the Soviets did something similar during
the Cold War, but he urges prayer. "Continue
to pray for wisdom and for discernment on the part of believers who work in
such restrictive nations. There's always the fear of discovery. You don't want
to be controlled by fear, and these are really good prayers to be praying for
our brothers and sisters, that the Lord would rule, and not fear."
Korea has been described as one of the most repressive and isolated nations in
the world. The nation is governed under a state religion called
"Juche," meaning "self-reliance."
to VOMC, citizens are required to worship their dead leader, the "Eternal
President" Kim Il Sung, and his son, the current dictator Kim Jong Il.
have been bulldozed, and Christians must practice their faith in secrecy and
constant danger. Religious prisoners are often subjected to harsher treatment
and given the most dangerous tasks, all in an effort to force them to renounce
their faith. When they refuse, they have often been tortured to death.
often, a Christian caught with a Bible can be executed. Those caught
worshipping God will be imprisoned with their whole family, where they will be
beaten, starved and worked to death.
fervently for what remains of the church in North Korea. Pray for strength for
prisoners of faith. And pray that Christians will have opportunities to share
the eternal life available through Jesus Christ.