Inside Out 305: North Korean Christians

03.05.14 | Martha Manikas-Foster

As we speak—and that’s key—as we speak aloud about Jesus here in North America, the between 200,000 and 400,000 Christians in North Korea are forbidden to share or speak aloud anything about their faith in Christ.

North Korean Christians suffer more persecution for their faith than believers anywhere else in the world. For the twelfth consecutive year, the World Watch List, compiled by the support and advocacy group Open Doors, ranks North Korea at the top of the list of countries where Christians suffer persecution.

“When we say that North Korean Christians are the most persecuted on the planet, that’s a real fact,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. David Curry. “It’s based in data, it’s based in numbers, and it has to do with levels of control within these countries, levels of pressure, levels of violence.”

Ranked as the harshest country for Christians, it should be noted that life in North Korea is grim for the population in general. In February a United Nations report accused the North Korean government of ordering systematic torture, slavery, mass starvation, and killing on such a grand scale that it compared the conditions in North Korea to Nazi-era atrocities.

Within this context, the situation for Christians is even more alarming.

Open Doors estimates that of the between 200,000 and 400,000 believers in North Korea, 50,000 to 70,000 now live in the concentration camps mentioned in the U.N. report.

When the U.N.’s human rights panel released the report, among the comments made by the panel’s chairman, Judge Michael Kirby, was this: “Now is a time for action. We can't say we didn't know."

A specific question for the church worldwide may be: Are we aware? And if we are aware, are we praying?

“It certainly is a sign that we have lost our perspective on the world when these kinds of things are happening—when really millions of people are under tremendous pressure for their faith and most Christians don’t know about it,” Curry says in our recorded conversation.

Western Christians can gather publically to pray for North Korean believers—a freedom denied the people we would be praying for.

Curry continues, “Let’s make this a point of prayer in every small group, in every Sunday School, in every household, and just make it a part of what we do, understanding that not everybody has our freedoms, not everybody had the right to study the Bible--to read the Bible. Take those words as very precious. And just lift folks up in prayer for that.”

To listen to my full conversation with Dr. David Curry--it’s about 10 minutes long--click on the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above.

You can also learn more about Open Doors USA

And the World Watch List


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 03.07.14 Bob commented

Some of your finest work yet Martha. How we need to pray for the persecuted church in North Korea. Thank you for your exceptional coverage.




Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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