South Korean Church Leader: “Pray that the Sacrifices of Christians Over the Past 65 years Will Finally Bear Fruit”
Christians Face Uncertain Future After Death of North Korea’s Leader
Washington, D.C. (December 19, 2011) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011, raising concern for the stability of the region and the future of the country’s oppressed citizens.
ICC spoke with a South Korean church leader, Sam Kim, to find out how South Korean Christians are responding to the news. He explained that South Korea is on high alert because “past history informs us that immediately after a crisis, the North Korean government follows the same predictable cycle: [a] series of hostile activity as evidenced by missile or nuclear test … followed by a more aggressive hostile act.” He warned that as “the world just witnessed a missile test immediately after the death of Kim Jong Il… Christians need to pray that the latest missile test will not be followed by additional more aggressive hostile acts.”
Kim is the executive director of the Korean Church Coalition for North Korea Freedom, a coalition fighting for the freedom, human rights, and dignity of the North Korean people.
It remains unclear if the death of Kim Jong II will result in a deterioration of conditions for persecuted Christians in the country that is largely considered the world’s worst persecutor of Christians. More than 50,000 Christians are believed to be kept in the country’s infamous labor camps for their faith in Christ.
Kim told ICC that, “currently, there are many Christian missionaries and underground house churches operating in North Korea. If captured, they face imprisonment and even public execution.”
When asked how Christians could pray for North Korea, Kim said “Christians around the world need to pray that the sacrifices of the many Christians over the past 65 years in North Korea will finally bear fruit, and that the Cross of our Lord Jesus will once again prominently be erected in Pyongyang Square. Until that day, the member pastors of the Korean Church Coalition for North Korea Freedom and the Christian community around the world will not rest nor stop praying, and with our Lord on our side, we will not fail.”
ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said, “North Korea is at a critical juncture. It is imperative that Christians around the world pray for the Lord to open doors for the gospel to spread in the country. Please pray for revival to break out in North Korea and for the Lord to restore His glory to cities like Pyongyang, which was once known as the Jerusalem of the East.”