(Photo used for illustrative purposes only)
Our contacts working with Open Doors’ ministry to North Korean believers are sharing two urgent prayer requests today.
Please pray with us for a North Korean Christian who was recently captured by police officers outside North Korea.
Hyuk-Soo* became a believer several years ago through Open Doors partners who introduced him to Jesus Christ. He was discipled by our field partners as a part of our safe house and shelter ministry outside North Korea. Our contacts tell us that Hyuk-Soo is a faithful student who always wanted to know more about the Bible. At the safe house, he actively participated in the daily Bible lessons.
At this time, we don’t know his whereabouts. We do know that in many cases, when detained North Koreans are found with any Christian traces and sent back to North Korea, they and their family face arrest maximum security labor camp, exile or even execution.
Recently, we reported that more than a dozen believers were executed immediately when guards infiltrated a secret worship service in North Korea. Their families—more than 100 individuals—were arrested and sent to a labor camp for political prisoners.
For 20 straight years, North Korea has been No. 1 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians. This year, it’s No. 2, slightly behind Afghanistan.
In North Korea, it’s illegal to be a Christian. For the last three decades, believers have been known and treated as “the hostile class.” Anything that gives people an alternative allegiance to the ruling Kim dynasty is deemed to be dangerous to the state. Christians must hide their faith, even from their own children.
So as the Body of Christ, we have an urgent need to pray for Hyuk-Soo and his family right now. The words of North Korean believer and ex-prisoner Hea Woo* remind us how important our prayers are. She now lives in South Korea. “While I was in prison, I could not understand everything, but I felt the Christians in different countries praying for us who were imprisoned,’ she says. “It provided comfort, and it became a source of energy for us.”
“While I was in prison, I could not understand everything, but I felt the Christians in different countries praying for us who were imprisoned,’ she says. “It provided comfort, and it became a source of energy for us.”
Prayer needed for safe house leader
Also, please lift up one of our devoted coworkers, Caleb*, who is requesting our prayers.
Caleb is a faithful and dedicated local partner in our safe house and shelter ministry. He contacts North Korean travelers and takes care of local believers in need. Caleb helps teach the Bible to travelers like Hyuk-Soo and sometimes provides them places to stay and food to eat. While we can’t disclose many details about him, we know that he had been very ill for the last few months, hospitalized for weeks of treatments.
Our contact shares: “Prayers are very much needed for the ministry and Caleb, as he is in charge of many significant parts of the ministry, including taking care of the North Korean believers and non-believers. Because of your prayers and support, and under God’s wings, our safe house and shelter ministry for North Korean escapees continues.”
Hea Woo exhorts us: “Even if we cannot meet each other, let us communicate through the Spirit, in Jesus Christ. Let’s pray together and make good out of it. I hope our Lord will be glorified. I believe at God’s appointed time, all the prayers will be answered and there will be freedom of faith in North Korea. Let us endure in patience and wait until that day comes.”
*Name changed for security reasons
Our local contact shares specific prayers for Hyuk-Soo, Caleb and Open Doors’ ministry to North Koreans:
- Please pray for Hyuk-Soo and other North Korean Christians like him who have been captured by hostile authorities or live at constant risk of being caught.
- Please pray that God will protect the safehouse and shelter ministry—that the Christian traces will be safely hidden and remain unrevealed, and that God will continue to bring strength to the heart of everyone involved, including all the field workers, local partners, and the North Korean believers and non-believers.
- Please pray for Caleb and other field workers like him who have devoted their lives to serving North Korean travelers, with the ultimate goal of building the underground church of North Korea. Please pray that God would provide the necessary treatment, medication and cure needed. Pray that his health would improve, and that God would restore his energy as good as new.
- Please pray that God will effectively and remarkably use the safe house and shelter ministry to build the holy and faithful underground Church in North Korea.
Your gift will support believers facing extreme persecution in the countries identified by Open Doors’ World Watch List as the ten most dangerous.