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North Korea: Otto Warmbier dies after detention in North Korea

20 June 2017

American student Otto Warmbier, 22, has died after being returned from his detention in North Korea in a coma. After his arrest in 2016, he was given 15 years' hard labour following his 'confession' that he had stolen a piece of political propaganda at the request of his church. Held in North Korea for 15 months the events leading up to his death in the hands of the North Korean regime remain unclear. Churches in his hometown of Wyoming, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio have been praying for Otto since his arrest.

North Korea is the most dangerous country for Christians in the world according to Open Doors' 2017 World Watch List. Seen as a 'Western' religion, and thus a threat to the Kim Jong-Un's totalitarian leadership, Christians must keep their faith a secret.

Earlier this month North Korean Kim Seung-mo, 61,was arrested on 'spying' charges after meeting with Christian relatives across the North Korean border in China's Jilin province that runs along the according to reports from Radio Free Asia (RFA). North Korea also recently arrested Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song, both of whom had worked with North Korea's Christian-run Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

Previously, Kim Dong Chul, a 62-year-old Korean-American missionary, was detained in 2015. Meanwhile, Korean-Canadian pastor Hyeun-soo Lim was given a life sentence in 2015 for various charges, including trying to overthrow the government. Like Tony Kim, Lim was involved in humanitarian work with orphanages.


Please pray:

  • For Otto and for his family as they come to terms with his tragic death
  • For all those currently held in harsh conditions in North Korea
  • For Kim Seung-mo, Tony Kim, Kim Hak Song, Kim Dong Chul and Hyeun-soo Lim who are all currently improsoned in North Korea that they will find comfort in their faith and that the Lord will protect them.

More News from North Korea:

Find out more about persecution in North Korea.