15 posts categorized “North Korea”

April 8, 2014

Southeast Asia Trip Highlights

Last week VOM's Todd Nettleton appeared as a guest on In The Market With Janet Parshall, which airs nationwide each day on the Moody Radio Network.


Todd shared with Janet highlights from his recent trip to Laos and South Korea, where he met with North Korean defectors.

You can listen to the interview in its entirety by CLICKING HERE (a new window will open). To go directly to Todd's interview, go to the 25:00 mark in the file.

March 7, 2014

Australian Christian Expelled from North Korea

Media reports early this week stated that Australian Christian John Short has been expelled from North Korea after being detained there last month, allegedly for distributing Christian literature while visiting the secretive nation as a tourist.

North Korea’s official media reported that Short was released “thanks to the tolerance of the law of the DPRK and in full consideration of his age.” Short is 75.

THANK YOU for praying for John Short and his family during the time of his detention. His wife Karen has publicly said how much the prayers of God’s people around the world meant to her. Please continue to pray for Christians in North Korea, especially those suffering in the country’s notorious labor camps.

Prior to leaving Pyongyang on a flight for Beijing, China, Short was required to read out loud and sign a statement of apology, including a statement that, “I wanted more Korean people to be Christians therefore I secretly spread Bible tracts written by me.”

In his first public comments after being released Short said he was interrogated for two hours each morning and two more hours each afternoon during his detention. He also said he was kept under guard in a room and not allowed to go out at all.

We will post updates about Mr. Short’s condition on www.Persecution.com as more information becomes available. 

February 27, 2014

Australian Detained in North Korea Added to PrisonerAlert.com

The following information has been added to www.PrisonerAlert.com allowing people around the world to send letters of encouragement to the wife of a detained Christian worker, as well as sending letters of protest to North Korean officials.

You can also, on the profile page for Mr. Short, listen to an interview with Mrs. Short. The PrisonerAlert profile includes the following information:

John Short, a 75-year-old Australian missionary who lives in Hong Kong with his wife, was questioned and detained by North Korean police while visiting Pyongyang as part of a tour group. Officials detained him reportedly for being in possession of gospel tracts.

Short traveled to Pyongyang on Feb. 15 with the tour group, and police questioned him at his hotel the next day about the Korean-language gospel tracts that he was carrying. Officials reportedly asked him who translated the material into Korean, who sent him and to what organization he belongs. John-short

Short’s wife was informed of his detention by a member of the tour group who was allowed to leave on Feb. 18. This was Short’s second visit to North Korea. His wife said that on his first tour he was very outspoken about his faith and even read the Bible in the presence of North Korean officials who accompanied him.

The tour company has made repeated calls to North Korea, but officials have refused to provide any information. The Australian government is working on Short’s behalf through its embassy in South Korea and has also requested help from Sweden, which has an embassy in Pyongyang.

As a missionary to mainland China since 1964, Short has been arrested on several occasions by Chinese officials. In May 1996, he was arrested and his entry visa to the mainland was revoked. While he was allowed to stay in Hong Kong, he was prevented from helping spread the gospel to inland China for the next two years, until communist authorities determined he was no longer a threat.

You can mail a letter of encouragement to Karen Short at:
Mrs. Karen Short
P.O. Box 162
Tsuen Wan NT
Hong Kong


February 21, 2014

VOM Featured This Week on Moody Radio

This week VOM's Todd Nettleton was a guest on In the Market With Janet Parshall, broadcast nationwide on the Moody Radio Network and around the world online.


Todd and Janet discussed persecution in North Korea, Cuba and an answer to prayer for a Christian in Syria.

You can listen to the interview HERE (clicking will open another window with the broadcast audio file). The portion with Todd begins just after the 25:00 mark in the broadcast.

February 18, 2014

UN Report Opens Eyes to Abuse in North Korea

This week the United Nations released a comprehensive report of human rights abuses inside North Korea, including evidence and first-hand testimony collected from hundreds of North Korean defectors.

In graphic detail the report characterizes a regime that draws comparisons with the terrible evils of the Nazis under Adolph Hitler.

CNN prepared this report about the findings of the UN, and about what will now be done with them:


Naturally, the North Korean Government dismissed the report as a political plot by their enemies.

If you are a Christian, it is important to remember as you read the report that among those facing these desperate conditions and abusive treatment are some of our Christian brothers and sisters, who are singled out as enemies of the regime because they refuse to acknowledge the deity of the Kim family.

CNN warns you that some of the scenes in this video may disturb you. Our hope is that disturbance will drive you to pray for our North Korean family.

Learn more about the church in North Korea through two VOM books: These Are the Generations and Restricted Nations: North Korea.

April 11, 2013

Digging Deeper: North Korea

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. NorthKorea-map

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%

IDEOLOGY: Juche/Communism

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.

April 8, 2013

Pray for North Korea

VOM’s Todd Nettleton was interviewed Friday by a reporter from Mission Network News about the current situation in North Korea. Here is the resulting story:

North Korea (VOM/MNN) ― North Korea is setting a megaphone in front of the saber it's rattling.

On Friday, the North Korean government said it would not be able to guarantee the safety of embassies after April 10, and suggested that Russia, China, and Great Britain consider evacuating their diplomats. NK-map

Tensions have been on the rise since the United Nations imposed harsher sanctions following Pyongyang's third nuclear test on Feb. 12. The rogue state expressed fury over ongoing U.S.-South Korean military exercises and threatened a nuclear strike against the U.S. It also scrapped the Korean War armistice, began moving missiles, and restarted a plutonium reactor capable of producing more fuel for nuclear bombs.

One concern is that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, has something to prove. He's still tightening his grip on power and is something of a military unknown.

While the situation appears to be serious, governments are playing down the rhetoric from North Korea, assuming it represents yet another tantrum by a regime starving for attention, legitimacy, and economic aid. Spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA Todd Nettleton describes the typical pattern. "The world community makes some concessions. They deliver some food or they lower the sanctions or they deliver some oil, and the crisis magically goes away until the next time North Korea needs something."

Nettleton connected on Friday with VOM contacts working with North Korean Christians. According to them, "When North Korea needs something, when they need concessions, they create a crisis. They do a lot of saber rattling and a lot of press release about how terrible it's going to be for all the aggressors against them."

The situation is still fairly rhetorical. Nettleton says they're taking their cues from their national partners, some of whom are North Korean defectors. He goes on to say that because the poverty and hunger situation is desperate, it's unlikely the threats are little more than talk. He explains, "The surrounding nations are comfortable with the status quo. Maybe at times it's a little irritating, but it is seen as a better alternative than to see the regime fall and North Korea fall into complete chaos with those surrounding nations left to clean up the mess."

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.

As many as 100,000 believers are thought to worship secretly. Possessing a Bible, saying the words God or Jesus, and meeting together are all offences punishable by death. VOM reports estimate that of the hundreds of thousands incarcerated in labor and concentration camps, about 30,000 are Christians.

Yet there are still requests for help. VOM supports Gospel radio broadcasts into North Korea and participates in balloon launches that carry the hope of Christ into the country. "Pray that North Korean Christians will remain faithful, that they will remain encouraged. The other thing we can pray is for the delivery of Gospel materials, for the these balloons, for these radio broadcasts, for other Gospel work that is going on into North Korea, that the Gospel message will get in there, that it will be received, and that there will be fruit."

Restricted Nations NK coverLearn more about the history of the church and persecution in North Korea by reading VOM's book, Restricted Nations: North Korea. Order your copy online.

December 5, 2012

North Korea: Increase in Spies Has Led to More Persecution

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 2.30.25 PMNorth Korea (MNN) ― For the 10th straight year, North Korea tops the Open Doors World Watch List as the country where Christians face the most severe persecution.

North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un hasn't made any essential changes in the year after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il. He has been too preoccupied with building his image and tightening security to make changes.

The "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il told the people three years ago that in 2012, North Korea would once again be a strong and prosperous country. He died in December of 2011, leaving the country to his son, Kim Jong-Un.

Open Doors USA reports, "The regime tried to model this young leader after his grandfather. His appearance and public speeches mirror North Korea's 'Eternal President.'" There are still many differences. Kim Jong-Un's attendance of performances with Disney figures, female musicians, and an orchestra playing music from a Rocky movie were widely televised. However, the dream of a strong and prosperous nation is still far from reality.

The number of trained North Korean spies in China is growing. Border patrol has been taken over by the National Security Agency, which puts pressure on captured smugglers to disclose information about Christians helping refugees.

In at least one region of North Korea, citizens are pressured to confess their crimes. A person told a reporter from DailyNK.com, "They are gathering people by factory, school, and people's units and telling them to write letters confessing precisely what foreign media they have viewed up to now. When they give you the paper, they warn you, saying they know everything anyway so just write it down: when, where, and what you saw; where and from whom you got it; and your impression of it."

Open Doors contacts that live in North Korea have reported no changes in their circumstances. There is no sign that Kim Jong-Un will improve religious freedom. Some arrested Christians were tortured and then released in order to betray their brothers and sisters or to serve as bait.

One Open Doors co-worker in North Korean said, "It's so dangerous to help Christians who have been released by the government. Some have been tortured so severely they cannot walk anymore. Often we cannot help them, because that would bring too much risk to us. We can pray for them. We know that Jesus will not leave them, nor forsake them."

Pray for the Christians who are being persecuted on a daily basis. Ask God to be with those who are being tortured. Pray that God's Word will continue to be shared.

Source: Mission Network News

November 12, 2012

Must Read Book: These Are the Generations

Screen Shot 2012-11-12 at 10.23.24 AMOver the weekend as I was remembering the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, I was reading this brand new book by the Reverend Eric Foley called These Are the Generations.

This is a relatively short book, about 120 pages, that is packed with the inspiring family story of the "Bae" family.  I found myself wanting to savor every word of this book, as I read the inspiring background of the grandfather in this family.

I have to say that reading about the grandfather and how he not only prayed and fasted and heard the voice of the Lord, but then reading about his obedience to what the Lord told him - including burning his families bibles.  It was like reading from the pages of scripture and seeing how the Lord did miracles straight from the bible.  I even got my husband to buy his own copy to read and he did!

I cannot recommend reading this book enough, which is why it's a great time to get the book since it's our current featured book.  Please click here and get your copy today.  I promise you that you will be inspired and challenged in your faith.

Please also remember the North Korean Christians in your prayers today. 

Here's more about the book These Are the Generations:

This powerful book describes God's work in North Korea through three generations of the Bae family, beginning with a family member during World War II and continuing through to his grandson, who was forced to flee after spending a year in a North Korean prison.

Their faith is unique among North Korea believers--it has been carefully passed on to each generation without outside contribution. The Bae family's story provides a rare, first-person account of life for underground Christians in this isolated nations and offers insight into the many hardships belivers have faced since the founding of communist North Korea.

Christians like the Bae family are extremely rare in North Korea. Most North Korean Christians learn about Christ in China or South Korea and take him--and a fair amount of systematic teaching and resources--back with them to North Korea. But the Baes from an altogether different part of the sheep fold. Born of the martyrs, they are among the remnant 7,000 who have not bowed to Baal (1 Kings 19:18). The Baes are heirs to the bold faith of the ancestors, guardians of the gospel in arguably the most idolatrous country in modern history.

"This may sound like a very unusual ending to a story about Christian faithfulness across generations, but North Korea is a very unusual place to be faithful. In North Korea, faithfulness is not something Christians are while they are busy doing other Christians things. It's what they do with their minds and souls and bodies and strength, and it almost always comes at the cost of their lives. So it is a very precious thing, and it means that our stories oftne have unusual beginnings and unusual endings. Like this one." --Mr. Bae


November 8, 2012

N. Korean Believer's Tale of Persecution Survival

Did you know that there are about 100,000 Christians living in North Korea?  Amazing statistic isn't it.  Watch today's CBN News package on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church and those in North Korea who are followers of Jesus. 

You may read the full story here.  Please watch the video and share it.