North Korea Churches Continue to Survive

Dec 17, 2002 10:31 AM EST

North Korea is a nation where citizens suffer from extreme physical and spiritual famine. Since 1994, an estimated 3 million North Koreans have died of starvation.

Meanwhile, the Christian minority of 400,000 out of the 25 million population faces severe oppression. Another 100,000 Christian political prisoners - North Korean refugees to China who have been caught and deported back to North Korea, separated and sent to a political labor camp - undergo harsh persecution and are forced to renounce their faith.

The famine of faith is ravishing the nation as well, where most North Koreans have never heard the name of Jesus or have read the Bible.

North Korea's Kim Jong II and the late Kim Sung II, have made every attempt to eradicate all beliefs in the nation. Christians are seen as political criminals, and jailed Christians in North Korea are brutalized – being exposed to excessive torture and forced abortion in pregnant Christian women.

According to the "World Watch List" published by Open Doors in August, North Korea ranks top as the country where Christians are the most severely persecuted.

But despite severe persecution, the church in North Korea has survived, and Christian refugees told first-hand experiences of small house churches in the country.

“Imagine how nearly impossible it is for Christians to survive, and the Christian faith to grow in North Korea as it ranks first in the hall of shame of countries repressing the free-expression of Christianity,” said Terry Madison, president/CEO of Open Doors USA. “And yet, despite its cruel punishment and death to believers, indications are that the Church in North Korea continues to grow despite the best efforts of the government to destroy the Church.”

Concerned ministries are urging prayers during this Christmas season, for believers in North Korea and millions of other persecuted Christians worldwide.

By Sara Lee