Christians living in North Korea have verified the war-like atmosphere in the country, and are asking fellow believers worldwide to pray.
“The military army, navy, air force troops, strategic rocket troops, the red guards and the red youth guards are already in combat mode. Urgent meetings are being held everywhere, regardless if it is day or night. At those meetings, officials make decisions on what needs to happen in case war breaks out and everyone, including women, needs to be combat ready,” reported a local church leader of the situation inside of North Korea, according to persecution watchdog Open Doors USA.
A Christian leader summarized the “high command” that North Korean people received, “We are to meet the decisive battle with a gun in one hand and a hammer in the other.”
Despite Kim’s war rhetoric and commands, the North Korean Christians and citizens fear war and its consequences.
Many locals have been stockpiling what food and supplies they can afford, said a believer in the oppressive country.
One North Korean Christian expressed his gratitude to the fellow believers in the West for their continuous support and love and said, “We know that our journey will not be an easy one, but we are sure that our faith, desperate hope and passionate desire will someday bear many fruit.”
“No matter how difficult life is for us, we never blame or complain about our circumstances. God has promised us in the Bible that if we seek His Kingdom first, all other things will be given to us as well. Please pray for us,” the person added.
An estimated 200,000-400,000 North Koreans secretly believe in Jesus Christ, with 60,000-80,000 said to be living in the communist country’s notorious labor camps, according to Open Doors USA.
“North Korea is [the] ONLY country Pew Research cannot rate on religious freedom due to lack of on-the-ground observers in [the] secretive regmine,” wrote Senior Pew Researcher Brian J. Grim this week. It has also been the No. 1 persecutor of Christians for 11 years in a row, according to Open Doors 2013 World Watch List.
According to The Christian Post, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reported in its 2012 findings on international religious freedom that North Korea “remains one of the world’s most repressive regimes, with a deplorable human rights and religious freedom record.”
The U.S. government has significantly increased military presence on the Korean Peninsula and Guam as it has vowed to defend its allies, such as South Korea and Japan, should Pyongyang attacks.
Jerry Dykstra, Open Doors USA’s spokesman, said in his statement Thursday, ““We must respond now to the Christian leaders’ request to pray for them. Pray for Kim Jong-Un; that God will work in his heart and he will pursue peace and not war. Pray for wisdom for leaders in the United States, South Korea and China. Pray for Christians who are put in even more danger due to war preparations. Pray families will find food to feed their families. Finally, pray that no matter what happens Christians will remain strong in their faith.”