Now that the historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has taken place, what do North Korean Christians make of it?
Hea Woo* spent several years in a North Korean labour camp, and her husband was killed for his faith in Jesus. Hea Woo was able to escape and now lives in South Korea. She says, “We should be careful not to be deceived. I’ve lived in North Korea and I know how horrible the Kim leaders are. The Kim family will not really change all of a sudden. But it is possible that God transforms people through His power. Let’s pray that if North Korea has any dark plans, that they will be revealed.”
Yong Sook* was also imprisoned in North Korea, and her husband died in prison. She now lives in South Korea. She says, “To be honest, I watched the summit between Kim and Trump with very deep resentment. How many innocent people have died because of the development of the nuclear weapons they are talking about now?
“So far, none of the leaders of North Korea have really taken care of their people. They let them starve to death. Why? Because they don’t want to give up those nuclear weapons. They need them to survive and survival is Kim Jong-un’s desire.”
There are 60,000 secret Christians in North Korea who depend on Open Doors underground networks to smuggle in food, medicines and clothes to help them survive. Every £58 can provide this vital support for a North Korean family for a month.
Yong Sook says, “Kim Jong-Un should confess what he and his regime have done. He should open the doors of the political camps and kneel down to apologise to those who have suffered due to its regime. The lives of North Korean citizens are just as important as Kim Jong-un’s life. Pray that our heavenly Father will judge the evil powers according to His righteousness and justice. Pray for those who have been suffering in North Korea.”
John Choi*, a North Korean Christian and a human rights advocate who now lives in the UK, said, ”I hope that if there is economic advancement it will pave the way for more freedom for the people of North Korea, freedom of thought, opportunity and religion. I think this is likely to take 25 to 30 years but I also hope in light of Trump’s comments today it will be much quicker than that.”
According to President Trump, North Korea’s human rights record was discussed. John Choi said, “This is the beginning of the process. The first steps have been taken. Trump hasn’t clearly spoken about the human rights issues. But he has spoken about denuclearisation. Hopefully denuclearisation will lead to more money available to feed the everyday citizens of North Korea and provide them with a better life.
“President Trump said that the human rights issues are a continuing process. I am glad it is now on the agenda. But Kim Jong-un has to be committed to it too. Kim Jong-un has not yet referred to the prison camps or religious freedom. This is an ongoing process and I will continue to advocate and pray for it.”
STAND WITH YOUR CHURCH FAMILY IN NORTH KOREA
Open Doors estimates that there are between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians imprisoned in North Korea, simply for daring to believe that there is a higher power than Kim Jong-un – Jesus.
And yet, despite the risks they face, Open Doors estimates that there are between 200,000 and 400,000 courageous secret Christians in North Korea, who believe that following Jesus is worth the risk.
You can stand with them in prayer, knowing that there is nowhere too dark or too dangerous for the hand of God to reach. You can make sure others know what is happening to our church family in North Korea - bring your friends to Standing Strong, where they can hear Hannah* share her amazing testimony of surviving a North Korean labour camp.
And incredibly, you can put food, medicines and Bibles into the hands of a North Korean believer, through Open Doors secret workers. It should be impossible, but they are keeping 60,000 secret believers alive by smuggling food into the country.
- For comfort for the thousands of imprisoned believers in North Korea, and that one day soon they will be free
- For protection, courage and discernment for secret believers in North Korea, and Open Doors workers who serve them
- For wisdom for world leaders are they consider how to move forward with North Korea
- That one day soon the people of North Korea will be free.
*names changed for security reasons