Day 6: God Will Act on Behalf of His Servants and Restore Fruitfulness of Life in North Korea
“For they will be a people blessed by the Lord.” Isaiah 65:23
When Japan was defeated in 1945 during World War II, Korea was divided into North (under Soviet Union rule) and a South (under US rule). After the North established the Democratic People’s Republic (DPRK) in 1948 severe persecution began in this communist country. Before the North invaded South Korea and started the Korean War (1950-1953) already two-thirds of the Christians had fled to the South.
The DPRK leader Kim Il Sung understood the power of worship and set himself up to be the only one to be worshipped. Statues of him were erected everywhere and people were required to bow down before them; those who did not honor him were labelled as an enemy of the state and persecuted. Kim Il Sung created a monolithic belief system called Juche. This belief system twists the Holy Trinity of Christianity by teaching that Kim Il Sung is god, his son Kim Jong Il is the Christ figure, and the ideology of Juche replaces the Holy Spirit. Kim Jong Il refers to Juche as “Kimilsungism.”
All North Koreans are indoctrinated with this belief system from cradle to grave. Their entire education includes this teaching and as adults they are required to attend mandatory adult education centers in their work places or in their towns. All successes of the country are considered to be due to Kim Il Sung and he is referred to as “Dear leader.” Nowadays his son Kim Jung Il still sees Christianity as the most dangerous threat to his regime.
Several defectors shared what it was like to be indoctrinated in the Juche ideology.
“I never thought that Juche or Kimilsungism was closed or oppressive ideology, but I simply believed it as truth.… I also thought Kim IL Sung is the greatest man. During all my life, I was brainwashed, believing that Kim IL Sung was the only reason I was happy. I learned to say, ‘Thank you, father Kim IL Sung,’ even when I was a baby. Therefore it is impossible to think of anything else but Kimilsungism.
“There are Kim IL Sung Revolutionary Thought Study Institutes and Revolutionary History Institutes in even the smallest unit of administration or organization. Everybody is forced to attend there once a week at the assigned time. Hanging portraits of Kim’s family are compulsory for every household…People bring flowers and clean up around the public statues and portraits of Kim Il Sung.”
READ ISAIAH 65:1-9 and 65:17-23
God has His servants in North Korea, those who have not bowed down to any other god and follow the Lord, even if in secret. He has permitted Himself to be found by a people who did not seek Him (Isaiah 65:1-2). He has made salvation guaranteed on the cross. The mercy and grace of salvation made available to everyone!
Father God, when will the promise in Isaiah 65:17-25 be fulfilled completely? Will it be upon the return of Your Son Jesus Christ when all earthly kingdoms will be destroyed and only Your Kingdom remains? Father, we know that we are to wait for Your perfect time but our hearts break for those in North Korea who are blinded by the lies. Father, remove the scales from their eyes so that they can see Your glory. And today, as we pray for a revival in North Korea, we are also on our knees repenting of our sins. As we pray through Isaiah 65:23 draw us closer to You than ever before so that we too “will be a people blessed by the Lord.” Amen