April 11, 2013
In recent weeks North Korea has been on the front pages of many world newspapers as its government voices threats to the world and attempts to flex its military muscle.
North Korea is one of the nations where VOM works among the persecuted church, and therefore one of the nations featured on VOM's online prayer map. This map, along with VOM's printed Global Report and other resources, allows Christians to learn more about the country in order to pray more effectively and specifically.
Here's the Prayer Map information about North Korea:
DESCRIPTION: North Korea’s isolated regime is the most oppressive in the world. North Koreans are indoctrinated with an ideology called “Juche,” a philosophy of self-reliance that centers on worship of the country’s leaders. Following Kim Jong Il’s death in December 2011, power was transferred to his son, Kim Jong Un. Jong Un seems determined to carry on his father’s duties and policies. North Korea maintains one of the world’s largest standing armies.
CATEGORY: Restricted Nation
RELIGION: Cheondogyo (compulsory state religion) 99.5%, Christian 0.5%
HEAD OF STATE: Marshall Kim Jong Un
North Korea is the worst perpetrator of persecution against Christians in the world. Christians are tortured, imprisoned and murdered. Private, non-state-sanctioned religious activity is prohibited. Anyone discovered engaging in clandestine religious activity is subject to arrest, torture or even public execution. Under Juche, the only acceptable religion is Cheondogyo, or “Kim-Il-Sung-ism.” However, the North Korean government is careful to maintain a facade of religious freedom with four “show” churches in its capital city. When Christians are executed, they are typically charged with being spies or being involved in illegal activities. As many as 100,000 believers are thought to worship secretly. Experts estimate that of the hundreds of thousands incarcerated in labor and concentration camps, about 30,000 are Christians. Religious prisoners are typically treated worse than any of the other inmates. Possessing a Bible, saying the words God or Jesus and meeting together are all offences punishable by death. VOM supports radio broadcasts into North Korea and participates in balloon launches that carry the gospel message and literature into the country.
PLEASE PRAY for North Korea, and especially for Christians there. You may also want to explore information and needs for other nations through VOM's online prayer map to help you pray effectively for hostile and restricted nations around the world.