Five Things About North Korea
Christianity is forbidden in North Korea. Here are five things the North Korean government would not want you to know about this country:
1. There are thousands of Christians in North Korea Christianity is forbidden in North Korea. Despite this, it is estimated that there are between 200,000 – 400,000 believers. Of these, between 50,000 – 70,000 are held in Nazi-like concentration camps and prisons.
2. Kim il-Sung came from a Christian family The ruling dynasty, founded by Kim-Il Sung, are worshipped like gods. But the Great Leader’s grandparents were devout Christians. His mother was, allegedly, a church elder, his father was a devout Christian and his uncle was a pastor. Unsurprisingly this fact is never mentioned.
3. Christians still manage to worship together Christians meet in small groups, often no more than two people. They worship in complete quiet, silently mouthing hymns and prayers. Sometimes two Christians meet in a remote place and share a Bible verse. That is their church. The church is growing despite the odds. All North Korean Christians know that to choose to follow Jesus is to be prepared to face imprisonment, torture and death. Yet despite this, the church in North Korea is not just surviving, but growing. Open Doors helps North Korean Christians both physically and spiritually.
4. North Korea has a class system This avowedly Communist country has a rigid social classification system known as Songbun. All citizens are classed as either the loyal, the wavering, or the hostile (27%). Songbun guides what job you do and how much food you get to eat.
5. There is a growing North Korean refugee church in China There are many North Korean refugees in China. Some are Christian, or become Christian while there. Open Doors provides aid to some 3,000 North Korean refugees and their families. We also offer pastoral care and discipleship training – especially among North Korean women hiding in China. It is dangerous work. “There are spies everywhere,” says Pastor Yun, “even in our churches on Sunday.”
The North Korean church has a vision. A North Korean Christian told us: “One day our country will be opened and reunited with South Korea. Then the North Korean and South Korean Church will work together with our Chinese brothers and sisters to evangelise Asia. That is going to be a hard, difficult task. We see the current persecution in North Korea as preparation for that time.” Open Doors is helping them to prepare for that day.
Open Doors has a long history of working in North Korea and through the grace of God we are able to help Christians in North Korea. Through your help, we sent in food and medicine for 56,000 Christians inside North Korea. We cannot share how we work, but we can tell you what we do in North Korea to help our brothers and sisters survive physically and spiritually. They say: “We don’t you’re your names or your faces. Still you support us. Thanks to you we are holding on. No doubt, you will be rewarded in heaven.