North Koreans Christians aren’t praying for freedom
North Korean Christians live in fear of their own government. With an estimated 30,000 believers being held in concentration camps, North Korea is regularly classified as the nation with the world’s worst persecution. In some ways, life for many Christians there is as bad or worse than we imagine it. Christians are hunted and even brutally murdered. But in a radio interview on North Korea, Dr Eric Foley pointed out that North Korean Christians don’t view their situation the way we do. In fact, North Korean Christians, “don’t pray for a regime change. They don’t pray for freedom and money. They pray for more of Christ and to mirror more of Christ in their life.” Dr. Foley recalled the response of a North Korean defector after he asked how he could help and pray for him, ”You pray for us? We pray for you…You have so much, you put your faith in your money and your freedom. In North Korea we have neither money nor freedom, but we have Christ and we’ve found He’s sufficient.”
10/28/16 North Korea (Hope 103.2) – If the TV’s your only source of news about North Korea, it’d be easy to assume that it’s hell on earth for Christians—a place where faith is crushed, and believers are silenced, hopeless and miserable.
But Reverend Dr Eric Foley paints a very different picture.
He’s the head of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, an organisation based in Seoul, that quietly works to support the North Korean underground church. When he first set out on this mission with his family 16 years ago, he decided to look for ways to befriend North Korean Christians and hearing their stories.
North Korea Not Quite as ‘Closed’ as You Think
First, he built friendships with North Korean defectors living in South Korea (there’s now 30,000 there). Next, he met North Korean refugees living illegally in China, followed by North Koreans working for the government in other countries.
In fact, Dr Foley didn’t have any trouble finding North Korean people to befriend.
“People tend to think about North Korea as a country with a big barbed wire fence around it, where nobody goes in, and nobody comes out,” Dr Foley said. “And that’s not a very accurate picture. There’s over half a million North Korean workers that are sent out by the North Korean government, to make money for the regime. There are 250,000 refugees in China, there’s 30,000 North Korean defectors in South Korea.”