North Korea

Day 1 – North Korea remains the world’s most restrictive nation in which to practice Christianity. According to Open Doors 2020 World Watch List it ranks 1 out of 50 for the worst persecution. It is estimated that between 60,000 to 120,000 Christians are imprisoned. Family members of Christians are considered guilty by association and sent to labor camps or prisons. Christians serving time face torture, and starvation on a daily basis.  Just having a Bible is a crime and can be punished by life imprisonment or public execution. Nevertheless, Christians are continuing to share their faith and minister throughout the country, despite the risk of death. North Korea also consistently tops the world’s human rights watch lists as the most repressive and closed nation on earth.

The country’s dictator Kim Jong ll presided over one of the most repressive regimes in the world, until his death in December 2011. His son, Kim Jong-Un is completely dedicated to the ideology of Juche which means self-reliance. This is the only acceptable religion, the cult of the deceased leader. All citizens are forced to adhere to a personality cult revolving around the worship of the recently deceased dictator, and his deceased father. All other religions are not tolerated, and hundreds of thousands of Christians have been murdered. International Christian Concern reports that as more Christians flee from North Korea, their testimonies confirm that the nation is the worst persecutor of Christians in the world, whose violence is directed, empowered, and endorsed by the government. The true number of Christians is unknown, but it is estimated that the Christian population is approximately 300,000. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. intelligence depicts the new leader as “a volatile youth with a sadistic streak who may be even more unpredictable than his late father.” Yet, the Church there is not only surviving, but growing.

“You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.” -Nehemiah 9:6

Think about it – Are we using the freedom that we have in a way that honors the Lord?

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