Planting Hope in a Hostile Land

February 05, 2013

“The North Korean people feel that Kim Jong Un is making life even harder for Christians than his father and grandfather did,” reports one of our missionary contacts who works in the country.

Today there are an estimated 100,000 to 400,000 Christians in North Korea. Despite ever-present dangers of imprisonment, brutality, and death, faithful followers of Jesus Christ remain committed to sharing the gospel in the midst of very difficult circumstances.

“Mr. E.” leads three underground churches in North Korea, with a total of 87 members. He became a Christian in 2006. The following year he was arrested by the police and charged with espionage for helping North Korean refugees escape across the border into China. The penalty for his crime against the government—18 years in prison.

Another underground church leader provided money to help Mr. E., and his sentence was reduced to five years. He was released and returned home to his family in 2012.

At the time of his arrest, however, Mr. E.´s home was confiscated by the government. He currently lives in his mother´s one-room house with seven people. His desire is to have a house with a large room, so he can have the space to host house church meetings.

Mr. E. already is seeing the fruits of his labors as the network of believers and house churches increases. He travels about 80 miles to lead worship services and meetings.

“He is now fully active and more energetic in the ministry,” said our missionary contact. “He has become a good partner in planting underground home churches.”

Christian ministry leaders in North Korea are encouraged as God´s love shines forth, bringing light to the darkness and transforming hearts. Whatever the political situation, they can experience spiritual freedom through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

You can support North Korean missionaries by assisting them with housing, transportation, and general expenses. Each missionary needs $100 a month for living costs and an additional $100 for their ministry work.

Cell phones are also needed as a means of communication between Christian families and missionaries and cost $80 each. The phones are from China and use Chinese cell towers. If they talk for only a couple minutes with at least 10 minutes between telephone calls, they are not active long enough for the North Korea military to trace them. The phones enable missionaries to coordinate ministry activities and offer spiritual encouragement.