Week of Prayer for North Korea – 5th Day

Day 5: God is Leading His People in North Korea to Make for Himself a Glorious Name

…So He became their Savior. In all their affection He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Isaiah 63:8-9b

North Korea is often described as one huge prison. North Koreans can be imprisoned for virtually any state-defined crime, such as being a Christian, making a negative comment about the regime, traveling to China to look for food, failing to have a picture of Kim Il-Sung in their house or even failure to keep it clean enough. Punishment is not limited to the offender, but also three generations of the offender’s family. What compounds these situations for citizens are the severe violations of human rights that occur throughout the North Korean penal system, including systematic use of torture, forced abortions, public and private executions, use of humans for chemical and biological testing and extreme starvation.

There are roughly two types of labor camps. One type is for re-education purposes, the other for political prisoners (who are considered hopeless). It is estimated that there 200,000 prisoners being held in just five of the 12 prison camps of North Korea. The number of additional prisoners in other known prisons and in “secret” prisons, some of which are said to be completely underground, is unknown. In addition, North Korea’s State Security Agency maintains about 30 labor education and forced labor camps. At least two of these camps are larger in area than the District of Columbia. The numbers of how many people die or are released each year from labor camps is not published. No one knows the exact number, but in the last three decades it is estimated that at least 500,000 people are believed to have perished in North Korea’s huge network of jails, prison camps and underground secret construction projects.

According to Open Doors’ Christian sources we estimate the number of imprisoned Christians between 50 and 70 thousand. Most are imprisoned because of their faith in Christ, some for other reasons. Christians are considered political prisoners. Under normal circumstances, they will never be released.

READ ISAIAH 63:11-14


God has visited His people in North Korea even during their oppression and extreme suffering and humiliation. But now the time has come for Christians around the world to lift up our voices in believing, confident prayer for God to intervene sovereignly and bring a mighty work of deliverance and restoration of His people in that land! As you read this PRAY!

Source, Open Doors

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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