BARTLESVILLE, OK The Voice of the Martyrs is calling on Christians around the world to pray for persecuted believers in North Korea as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church takes place on Sunday November 3.
To help mobilize informed prayers, VOM’s 2019 IDOP short film, “Sang-chul: North Korea”, provides a dramatic example of the challenges of following Christ inside the world’s most restricted nation, telling the true story of Pastor Han.
Voice of the Martyrs Todd Nettleton explains how he paid the ultimate price for his evangelistic and discipleship ministry on the Korean/Chinese border:
Many of those North Koreans came to faith in Christ and some of them even went back to North Korea to share that Gospel message to take it back to their friends and their family. Obviously that’s a very dangerous thing to do. But that discipleship work and that ministry is what got Pastor Han noticed by the North Korean government. And in 2016 they sent an assassination team across the river into China. Pastor Han was brutally stabbed and was killed. But this was a decision that he had made to lay down his life for the Gospel.
In fact just a couple months before he was killed he was with some of our team from VOM Korea and they were talking about the danger to him. They were talking about the threats of kidnapping. Maybe being taken back to North Korea and put in a labour camp. Pastor Han’s attitude was listen I’m the shepherd and my sheep need me and my sheep are along the China/North Korea border. And so he returned very willingly knowing full well what the risks were and he gave his life for the Gospel of Christ and for the people of North Korea.
Nettleton highlights the scale of persecution taking place in the world’s most restricted nation:
The idea that Jesus Christ is Lord undermines the very veracity of the Kim regime. It undermines their theology of the deification of the leadership there and so they cannot afford as the regime to allow Christianity to take root in their country and that’s if why if you’re found to be a Christian, it’s not just you that gets sent to a labour camp. It is also your parents and your children. They believe that by arresting three generations, they can wipe out what they would call the stain of Christianity from their territory. That’s the level of persecution that is happening in North Korea today.
Nettleton concluded by sharing how people should be praying at this time:
If we were the ones in North Korea. If we were the ones in those labour camps, how would we want people to pray for us. We’d want them to pray that God would sustain us, that God would protect us. We want them to pray that we have enough to eat today. We would also want them to pray for our families and our loved ones and even to help in practical ways to provide for our families while we are in prison. So I think if we put ourselves, picture ourselves in North Korea, inside a labour camp, I think it’s very easy to think of ways that we can pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who are in those labour camps today.
To read more news on Persecuted Believers on Missions Box, go here.
- Global News Alliance, Urgent Call to Prayer for Persecuted Believers in North Korea
- The Voice of the Martyrs, Official Website