Making A Difference in North Korea
What to pray for!
North Korea s 24 million strong
population lives under constant propaganda. Isolated from the rest of the
world, they are taught that North Korea is paradise on earth and that
every good thing comes from the country s leaders. Kim Il Sung, the Great
Leader is revered and worshipped by the population. The word for God is
banned and any belief in a higher power is considered a very serious
crime. The picture shows the immense statue of Kim Il Sung before which
North Koreans must bow.
Pray that state enforced
idolatry of North Korea's leaders imposed throughout the country will be
2: PRISON CAMPS & EXECUTION
Those discovered to be Christians face brutal torture.
Believers are sent to unbelievably cruel prison camps, such as camp 22
pictured here. Prisoners are forced to labour 16 hours a day to fulfil
impossible quotas. Abuse and violence characterize daily treatment. Food
rations are at starvation level. Sanitation is virtually non-existent.
Prisoners labour under crippling conditions, dying from abuse and
overwork. Arbitrary treatment at the hands of the guards goes unchecked,
with prisoners killed at the whim of, or for the entertainment of, the
guards. The extent of the cruelty is only defined by the limits of the
torturers imaginations. Believer s children are also imprisoned in such
camps in pursuit of the policy to eliminate the family of Christians and
other undesirable elements . Over 100,000 prisoners are believed to be
suffering terrible cruelty in the camps today.
3: EVIDENCE OF THE TREATMENT OF CHRISTIANS IN THE PRISON CAMPS
Soon Ok Lee
(pictured) survived six years of detention in a brutal interrogation
centre and a horrific prison labour camp. During interrogation she was
subjected to terrible torture, including water torture. She says the pain
is beyond all description. In prison she witnessed the mistreatment of
Christians. She says they alone were not sentenced to a particular number
of years, but were detained as long as they kept their faith. This meant
that they were subject to ongoing abuse and pressure. The guards were very
eager to force the Christians to recant their faith because they would be
promoted for doing so. She says the Christians were not allowed to look up
to heaven because they believed in God and had to always have their necks
at a ninety degree angle, making them disfigured. Even in death they were
buried facedown with their necks broken. She describes how Christians were
given the worst jobs in the prison camps, working in dangerous factories
or with the septic tanks, where they would suffer toxic poisoning. The
Christians in the factories were exposed to particular danger. In the
rubber factory they were forced to work almost naked, with just a little
apron covering their fronts. If they could not flip the rubber fast enough
before it went under the heavy rollers they would lose their hands and
arms. She says she even saw a man fall onto the conveyer belt and the
guard refused to stop it before he was crushed to death, saying I m glad
to get rid of this crazy God-believing man . She saw other atrocities,
including Christians being stamped to death. On one occasion, in the iron
foundry, the guard ordered eight Christians to recant and when they
refused, he had molten iron poured over them to kill them.
Pray for God to uphold those believers who follow
Christ so wholeheartedly in such a spiritually hostile environment.
4: HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
Prisoners in the camps receive starvation rations, but even
those outside the camps cannot feed themselves. Over a million people have
died of starvation in the last ten years and the famine has left up to 85%
of the country s children malnourished. The little child pictured died the
day after the photo was taken.
Pray for those desperately clinging to life and for their loved
5: REFUGEE SITUATION - CHUL MIN
Chul Min (pictured) was seven when his father decided to
leave North Korea. He had watched as his four year old brother had starved
to death next to him. His mother too fell victim to the famine s clutches
and died from starvation. Only Chul Min and his father, Mr Yoo, were left.
Already severely weakened by the famine themselves, they knew that the
same fate would be likely to befall them if they remained in North Korea.
Despite the high risks involved, they decided to escape over the border.
Mr Yoo sold their house for about £5, bought some shoes for Chul Min and
arranged their escape. The two travelled illegally on a train heading to
the Chinese border. Chul Min hid in the bathroom while his father had to
jump out of a window each time the train stopped for police checks. They
managed to reach China, but barely survived the next few years, constantly
moving to avoid detection by the police and scarcely earning money.
Chinese employers know that they can exploit North Koreans who have no
recourse to law and face repatriation to terrible brutality if found by
the police. In desperation, Mr Yoo left Chul Min with a missionary and
escaped to South Korea where he secured enough money to bring his son to
freedom. However, as Chul Min was close to the Mongolian border, his
pathway to freedom, he and his group were separated from their guide.
Unfamiliar with the inhospitable terrain, they wandered for the next 26
hours. Tragically Chul Min, weakened by years of malnutrition, died of
dehydration before reaching freedom.
Pray for the North Koreans in hiding along the border areas, for
their protection as they seek food and shelter and as they come into
contact with Christianity, usually for the first time.
6: MISSIONARIES WORKING WITH NORTH KOREANS AT THE BORDER
Chun Ki Won (pictured) is a South Korean missionary to the
North Korean people. Moved by the terrible plight of those suffering in
China, he has helped provide food and shelter. For most North Koreans this
is the first time they will ever have met a Christian, seen a Bible or
heard the gospel. Many accept the gospel with open hearts.
7: ABDUCTED MISSIONARY - REVEREND DONG SHIK KIM
Other missionaries have faced an even worse
fate. Reverend Dong Shik Kim (pictured), a South Korean pastor, with
serious disabilities, witnessed firsthand the sad plight of the North
Koreans who fled their country. He moved to China and became very involved
in helping the North Korean people, advocating for their human rights and
providing humanitarian aid for their immediate needs.
8: ABDUCTED MISSIONARY REVEREND AHN SEUNG WOON
Reverend Ahn Seung Woon (pictured), a South Korean pastor,
was working in China when he was abducted by North Korean agents. On 7th
July 1995 he had attended a worship service and was talking to a North
Korean couple by his car. He had the car running with his wallet and
glasses inside, when he was approached by two North Koreans. They took him
aside and made him get into a taxi. He was not seen again until he
appeared on North Korean television two weeks later. His wife was
horrified to learn that he had been abducted into North Korea and
described him as looking very tense and thin.