North Korean Christians pray for more than peace from summit

By June 12, 2018
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North Korea (MNN) – This week the world anxiously waits to see what the historic Trump and Kim summit produces. But Eric Foley of the Voice of the Martyrs Korea, a sister branch of VOM USA, suggests that Christians should be seeking a unique outcome from the meeting.

A Turbulent Historic Meeting

The on-again, off-again summit has been a challenging gathering to follow. Strong words and actions from both the North Korean and American administrations have at times put the meeting on hold or threatened to cancel it.

Yet many have been awaiting the summit with eager anticipation. Headlines suggest it could usher in the beginnings of peace or nuclear disarmament, but is that what Christians should be praying for?

Repentance Must Come First

Foley says, “From a Christian perspective there are four words we should be praying we hear at the summit. The four words we have been hearing are words like, ‘It’s a new day’. But as Christians, we should be praying that the words we hear are, ‘We need to repent, or we need to change.’”

Foley continues, “Those kinds of phrases like, ‘We need security guarantees’, or ‘Please give us money’, or ‘Let’s end this war’, all of those sound promising. But what we know as Christians is that unless there is a fundamental heart change on the part of the leaders of North Korea than all of the promises we hear at the summit will amount to nothing.”

A History of Persecution

For years North Korean leadership has been at the top of humanitarian as well as Christian rights watch lists. Their people face severe persecution for daring to claim Christ.

Foley explains that true changes in the country can only come through the recognition that, individually and corporately, leadership has done something wrong. They need to repent.

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(Image courtesy of Peteranta of Pixabay)

According to Foley, this repentance is exactly what North Korean Christians have been seeking for years. The political changes with other countries would be good, but for them, the repentance of their leader is more personal than the threat of nuclear weapons.

Foley explains, “Although for the United States and its Western allies, the most recent conversations with North Korea were driven by fear over nuclear weapons, the issues facing North Korea began literally decades before then. Within the first ten years of the rule of the Kim family, there was a systematic extermination of Christians.”

A Steady Request

Since that time, more than changes in foreign policy, North Korean Christians have hoped to see their leaders become follow Christ.

Foley states, “The Bible is always passionately concerned with the heart of the leader. And so I think North Korean Christians ways of praying are actually the most practical ways of praying in this case. It’s tempting for us as Christians in the rest of the world to say ‘Ah well that’s not realistic. First, there needs to be economic incentives then there needs to be nuclear disarmament.’

“But this kind of thinking is not known to the Scriptures and it’s not known among North Korean believers. What’s known in the Scriptures and what North Korean believers follow is that in order for there to be change between nations, the heart of the leader of the nation must be transformed.”

Join Koreans in Prayer

There is merit in praying for peaceful relations between countries, but as the summit continues, please let your prayers go beyond fear. Pray that God would radically step into this unusual situation and change the heart of North Korean leaders. Pray that they would seek God and find Him and begin to follow Him alone as Lord.

Please also pray also that VOM Korea would be an encouragement and help for North Korean believers and persecuted believers around the world. Discover more ways to pray here.

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