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North Korea

North Korea

World Watch List Rank 1
World Watch List Score 94/100
Leader Kim Jong-un
Population 25,841,000 | 400,000 Christians
Main Religion Atheism
WWL Rank in 2020 1
Persecution Level Extreme Persecution

For 20 years, North Korea has been ranked as the country where Christians face the most extreme persecution. Any Christian, anywhere in North Korea, is extremely vulnerable to persecution. The North Korean authorities’ control goes beyond the borders: Secret agents in China are tasked with finding and abducting North Korean Christians who have fled the country. 

Being discovered as a Christian is a death sentence in North Korea. If you aren’t killed instantly, you will be taken to a labor camp as a political criminal. These inhumane prisons have horrific conditions, and few believers make it out alive. Everyone in your family will share the same punishment. Kim Jong-un is reported to have expanded the system of prison camps, in which an estimated 50,000-70,000 Christians are currently imprisoned. 

What has changed this year?

North Korean Christians continue to face extreme persecution in every element of their public and private lives.  

Though the North Korean authorities claim that COVID-19 has had little impact in the country, North Koreans call it the “ghost disease” – because people are so malnourished already that they die very quickly from COVID-19. The pandemic has led to tighter security at the Chinese border, and a stranglehold on the black market, which many use to survive. 

How we help

Open Doors secret workers are keeping 90,000 North Korean believers alive with vital food and aid through its networks in China, as well as providing Bibles, training through Christian radio broadcasting, and providing shelter and training for North Korean refugees in China. 

PRAY FOR NORTH KOREA

  • Pray that God will continue to strengthen North Korea’s secret believers. May he provide for their needs and protect them. 
  • Pray for the believers who are imprisoned. Pray for comfort and strength for them, and that they would know God’s presence and love.  
  • Despite the risks, we have heard stories of believers sharing the gospel, even in prison camps. Pray that believers will shine as lights in the darkest places on earth.
North Korea

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