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Open Doors asks people to remember the plight of persecuted Christians in North Korea ahead of the Winter Olympics

With the start of the Winter Olympics the world’s attention is focused on Korea. The joint Korean women’s ice hockey team and the pro-unification flag show that North Korea is attempting to present a more friendly face to the world. But Open Doors is asking people not to forget the thousands of Christians persecuted under the brutal Kim regime.

Dr Matthew Rees, Advocacy Policy Officer at Open Doors, said, “As many nations come together to take part in the Winter Olympics, let us not forget that every day over 300,000 Christians are denied the right to take part in the religious observance of their choice. They are a beleaguered community who are fighting for their very survival.”

Every aspect of life in North Korea is controlled by the state. The belief that God is a higher authority than the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is seen as a threat that must be crushed. Tens of thousands of Christians are incarcerated in horrific labour camps, and thousands more keep their faith in Christ a complete secret. “They ignore all freedoms,” said Timothy, a North Korean refugee. “The human rights level is zero per cent. Religions are not allowed. The leader of North Korea has to be worshipped as god, and this will not change unless the regime collapses.”

Incredibly, despite this tremendous persecution, the church in North Korea is growing – Open Doors estimates that there are 300,000 courageous Christians in North Korea, who are in desperate need of encouragement.

As a way to support North Korean believers and to understand their hardship, pain and courage, Open Doors is asking people to Live Like a North Korean this lent.

Daily Bible readings, prayers and actions help you to experience a little of what North Korean Christians endure every day. You might end up buying your Bible or surviving a day without electricity. These actions cannot replicate the reality of our dear brothers and sisters, but with prayerful reflection they can provide a window into the world of a North Korean Christian.

Order a free copy of Live Like a North Korean

Many secret believers in North Korea are strengthened by the knowledge that Christians around the world are standing with them. One North Korean secret believer said, “We don’t know your names or your faces. Still you support us. Thanks to you we are holding on.”


There are three things you can do today to support our persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea:

  • Pray. For protection and provision for the thousands of secret believers in North Korea, for comfort and strength for those who have been imprisoned for their faith, and that one day soon, the people of North Korea will be free to follow Jesus without fear.
  • Order a free copy of Live Like a North Koreana Lent resource packed with six weeks of daily Bible-based reflections, prayers and challenges. 
  • Give a gift. Through our underground network we Open Doors is able to support tens of thousands of North Korean Christians with food, medicines, clothes, biblical training, radio broadcasts and Christian materials. But none of our work would be possible without the support of people like you. Every £58 can provide food, medicines and clothes to support a family in North Korea for a month.


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