News and Stories
“When I wouldn’t say no to Jesus, he hit me with it again and again.”
The “he” that Chu* refers to is her then-husband—they were married for more than 30 years. The “it” is the heavy stick he grabbed, most likely from the teak wood trees that cover Vietnam’s northern region, in an attempt to force her to deny her faith.
Has anyone in North Korea had Covid-19? Will North Korea be getting a vaccine? How has Open Doors been able to help North Korean believers during the pandemic? Here, Timothy, a North Korean escapee whose name we’ve changed to protect his identity, answers these and other questions…
On 19 February 2018, over 100 girls were abducted from Leah’s school. Tragically, one of the girls died in captivity. All the others were released within a month – except Leah. Why was she the only girl who was kept? Because she refused to deny her faith in Jesus.
Since then, Leah has spent her 15th , 16th and 17th birthdays in captivity. In May, she will turn 18. Last year, news reached Leah’s family that she was still alive – through another woman who had been abducted. She hadn ‘t seen Leah, but she’d met another woman who had. This might seem like fragile hope, but it is a lifeline for her struggling family in the face of so little news.
You’ve seen the images in movies. Many of us willingly submit our “data” every day, holding up our phone as the operating system algorithm detects, identifies and recognizes our face.
This is the mass AI technology that China has developed. And it is one of the most powerful surveillance tools—and Christian persecution tactics—ever made, especially when you consider that the country has installed millions of these cameras on streets, in public venues, on university campuses—and churches.
“It feels like our hope has been taken away,” Pastor Zay from Rakhine State tells Open Doors, “I couldn’t sleep and I cried out to God more than three times that night. Our dreams, hopes, vision and freedom are taken away. Our lifetime has been full of grief, fear and trouble under the military regime. People are suffering because of the war. Job opportunities are also difficult at the moment, and we are depressed by the military coup because we had hoped for a ceasefire.”
Open Doors has established secret safe houses and networks in China to help North Korean refugee Christians and support the Persecuted Church. This is dangerous work and only after a long period of training and praying will our field workers move to their ministry area close to the border between China and North Korea. In this rare interview, Peter* and Matthew* talk about their calling, the risks and rewards, and trusting in God under all circumstances. “Sometimes fear surrounds me.”