The Story of Prisoner 42 in North Korea

This story is based on a real-life account of a North Korea Christian sent to prison and then to a re-education camp, "Prisoner 42".

NORTH KOREA — This story is based on a real-life account of a North Korea Christian sent to prison and then to a re-education camp. Other details have been added from other prison accounts. Open Doors has heard stories like this from numerous North Korean believers – and, disturbingly, the details are all eerily similar.

Prisoner 42:

“I was born in North Korea, a country where uttering the word Jesus can mean death.”

For the last six decades, the Kim regime in North Korea has demanded total allegiance. Followers of Jesus are at great risk of being killed or imprisoned as political criminals.

“I escaped to China, found a safe house and thought I had found freedom. The people there told me about Jesus and I accepted Him. But I was arrested and returned to North Korea. I was sent to a labour camp.

“I had no name there. I was known only as a number: Prisoner 42.”

An estimated 50,000 – 70,000 Christians are imprisoned in North Korea for their faith. Many do no survive.

“I was put in solitary confinement. They said it was because they heard from another prisoner that I believed in God. Every day they would ask me the same questions. ‘Why was I in China? Who did I meet there? Have I read from a Bible? Am I a Christian?’ But saying ‘yes I love Jesus’ would have meant getting killed. And they do not kill you quickly.

“I know that here I will die. Be disposed of like an animal and another person will arrive here. They will wear my clothes. They will become Prisoner 42. Until then, all I can do is pray. With tears my heart longs for my Father in this prison. Father please accept this sinful daughter. Please protect me in Your mountain fortress and under Your shield. Take me under Your wings of peace. Guide me to Your blessings daily.”

Miraculously Prison 42 was eventually released and now lives in South Korea.


About Open Doors UK

Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.

Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support, and community development projects.

Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.


Read more news on North Korea, Christian Persecution and World Missions.


Source: Global News Alliance, The Story of Prisoner 42 in North Korea

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